Throughout Europe, national patent offices and the European Patent Office (EPO) offer free patent information on the Internet Patents reveal solutions to technical problems, and they represent an inexhaustable source of information: more than 80 percent of man's technical knowledge is described in patent literature. From the middle of 1998 onwards, esp@cenet users have been able to access the bibliographic data of all patents published in the preceding two years by any member state of the European Patent Organisation, as well as by the European Patent Office and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). In addition, full-page facsimile images of documents are also retrievable to facilitate more detailed analysis of these documents. The data for this particular service is stored at the relevant national office.