Bulk downloading of patents is a feature widely available in most commercial patent search systems. A recent question on LinkedIn, however, reminded me about the understandable demand for free patent bulk download solutions.
There are a few different types of bulk patent downloading solutions: integrated features of patent search systems, dedicated websites, and standalone applications. These solutions all have their pluses and minuses, so I’ll take you on a tour of what’s available out there.
Continue on after the jump to find out which of these free bulk downloading options is right for you!
Bulk downloading is the name for the capability of a system or tool to allow the input of multiple patent document numbers (at once) and then prepare or deliver those documents via download to the user. Systems may also be considered to have bulk downloading capabilities if a list of patent documents can be saved and then downloaded at-once.
Taking a look at the systems covered in the Intellogist Reports via the Quick Table Comparison feature, we can see that Espacenet and SumoBrain both have bulk downloading capabilities, so let’s profile those systems first.
Features: Users can download up to 30 documents into a single PDF file through “My patents” list. The user must select the checkboxes of all desired documents on the “My patents” hit list, and after checking the desired documents, users select the “Download” link in the upper right of the screen. Up to 30 documents can then be downloaded into a single PDF document.
Coverage: For many documents in the system, Espacenet hosts the original document. This includes US, EP, WO/PCT, and 80+ worldwide countries.
Features: All downloading must be done through the system’s “cart” interface, which requires users to send documents to the cart (via icons available in the hit list, individual record view, portfolio, or any other part of the site where patent documents are displayed) or directly import documents in the “My Cart” interface. The deliverable is a .zip file containing all selected documents in separate PDF files.
Coverage: US, EP, WO/PCT
These integrated search system solutions are great from a workflow perspective, should the user prefer using those search systems. Since there are multiple steps to bulk downloading within Espacenet and SumoBrain, it may not be the most time effective solution for users not already working within these environments. SumoBrain has the advantage of delivering the documents as separate PDF files, but Espacenet has superior coverage.
Next up, we’ll take a lot at a couple of websites solely dedicated to bulk patent downloading: PAT2PDF and Patent Retriever.
Features: PAT2PDF is a website dedicated to fetching and providing download links to US patent documents. The simple site allows users to input multiple numbers at once, but does not provide a single compiled deliverable.
System: Patent Retriever
Features: Patent Retriever allows up to 10 document numbers to be submitted, and provides users download links instead of a compiled deliverable.
Coverage: US, EP, WO/PCT
PAT2PDF and Patent Retriever both provide links to PDF downloads instead of delivering the compiled documents in one step. Patent Retriever has the advantage of offering coverage beyond US documents, but PAT2PDF supports a higher number of simultaneous download link retrievals.
Next up, we’ll take a look at a free patent downloading application, poxoq for patents.
System: poxoq for patents
Features: Poxoq for patents is a stand-alone desktop application that uses the Open Patent Services (OPS) database to retrieve and download patent PDFs. Results can be viewed within INPADOC family trees (allowing users to download related documents). Specific document sections (such as abstract, claims, etc.) can be selected for individual download. Batch downloading is available, and several patent number formats are supported. Poxoq for patents is free and features automatic updating.
Coverage: Coverage is equivalent to Espacenet (US, EP, WO/PCT, and 80+ worldwide countries).
Poxoq is the most full-featured free bulk downloading solution. Users can set up download directories, specify parts of patents to download, select related family members for download, and more.
Conclusion: In my opinion, the best all-around free bulk downloading solution reviewed here today is poxoq for patents, but the stand-alone application may not be right for all users. Those looking for bare-bones solutions might do better to try PAT2PDF or Patent Retriever, while those looking for an integrated search and download approach can check out Espacenet or SumoBrain. It all comes down to personal preference!
What’s your free bulk patent downloading tool or system of choice? Did we leave out your favorite? Tell us about it in the comments below!
This post was contributed by Intellogist Team member Chris Jagalla. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company Landon IP, a major provider of patent searches, trademark searches, technical translations, and information retrieval services.