Recently, Intellogist highlighted the industry trend of spotlighting green technology with our posts about Green technology in the Derwent World Patents Index and WIPO’s IPC Green Inventory. Patents are an important source of technical information and patent databases are crucial to supporting research and development efforts, including those focused on green technology. To find technologies related to the treatment of waste water, I explored both of these classifications. By the way, my favorite way to find good classifications for a particular subject is to do a keyword search that uncovers highly relevant patents, and then check out the codes listed there. But this time, I’m exploring the range of topics available to me, so I’ll start with the classification manuals.
To find relevant Derwent Green Technology Manual Codes, I clicked over to the Thomson Reuters index page for these codes and selected the “Pollution” tab (halfway down the page). Scrolling down, I saw that “WATER/WASTE TREATMENT” is listed as a major heading in the list of green technologies, represented by codes E11-Q02 and N07-L01.
In the IPC Green Inventory, I scrolled down to the “Waste Management” category, and then expanded the secondary heading “Pollution Control.” The next heading I saw was “Treating waste-water or sewage,” which contains a number of sub-categories relevant to the subject at hand.
At one point I probably would have said that the IPC codes are obviously far more relevant to searchers in developing countries. These codes can be used to search documents from the European Patent Office (EP) and Patent Cooperation Treaty (WO/PCT), which are available from many sources for free. By contrast, the Derwent World Patents Index is a subscription-only tool. However, now that we know that major information providers have announced the Access to Specialized Patent Information Program, the idea that developing countries could harness this source of technical information does not seem as far-fetched.
We wanted to participate in Blog Action day to draw attention to this issue, but of course, we wanted to add our two cents about how to search for this kind of subject matter. To help support this worthy cause, you can take a few minutes to sign an action petition at http://blogactionday.change.org. Please do check it out!
This post was edited by Intellogist Team member Kristin Whitman.