Following news that Dialog is now offering SciPat’s full text database of English machine translations for Chinese patent documents, I’ve been taking a look at some free sources of Chinese patent information on the web. It’s a somewhat confusing landscape for the English language searcher trying to make sense of the Chinese patent search offerings, but there are a number of players to note.
First, it might help to make sense of some alphabet soup. Here are some free sources of Chinese patent information on the web (I’m providing brief descriptions which are not intended to be taken as direct comparisons):
SIPO – The State Intellectual Property Office of the PRC offers a free patent search interface for invention and utility models.
CNIPR/C-Pat – The China Intellectual Property Net (CNIPR) offers the C-Pat search service, which searches invention, utility models, and design patents and offers full text English machine translations as well as legal status information.
CNPAT – CNPAT offers a title and abstract search of invention, utility models, and design patents, and also offers an advanced search interface with command line functionality.
To get the most out of these three sites, I definitely recommend taking a look at the EPO’s virtual helpdesk page on China, which contains many helpful tutorials on how to unlock the potential of these resources. Thanks to this material, I was recently able to obtain a document which was only available from the Chinese-language interface of one of these search tools.
Two more resources you should definitely check out are Surf IP and IPEXL. These are very similar patent search engines with a heavy focus on Asian collections; while Surf IP is offered by the Singapore Patent Office, IPEXL has a corporate identity. For Chinese patent searching these products rely on SIPO’s underlying data. IPEXL offers both English and native language Chinese collections, and support search queries in either language.
Any secrets, tips or tricks you’re willing to share about your Chinese patent searches? Let us know in the comments!
This post was contributed by Intellogist team member Kristin Whitman.