GetIPDL – A Free Patent Downloading Tool

In last week’s post about Free Bulk Patent Downloading Solutions, we got a helpful tip from reader Jim, pointing out his favorite patent downloading tool: GetIPDL. I spent some time researching this neat tool for Intellogist®, so I wanted to share what I found with you here today.

Patent downloading tools are an important and interesting area of examination in the patent informatics field, albeit an admittedly niche one. Many users have this function covered by their commercial search system of choice. Others don’t have the need to download patents separately from the search process. Others, however, use tool or site assisted patent download as a way to quickly retrieve patent(s) handed off to them in a list. This hand-off can happen between two colleagues at the same search firm/corporation or from inside counsel to outside search contractor.

Is GetIPDL worth your time as a tool that can help you download patent documents? Find out as I discuss how GetIPDL works, which patents it covers, and why the difference between the free and paid versions matter!


The first thing to note about GetIPDL is that, while there is a free (trial) version available, this version is unable to conduct any bulk patent downloading functions and is limited to one patent number input and subsequent download at a time. Further limitations include truncated documents for certain patent authorities.

Speaking of patent authorities, GetIPDL works by finding and downloading the requested document through the official servers of the national or regional patenting authority. The following servers are available for patent acquisition:

  • USPTO
  • JPO
  • Espacenet
  • IP Australia
  • CIPO
  • Thai IPIC
  • WIPO
  • SIPO of PRC
  • JPO English

One of the nice features of GetIPDL is that there are many options and preferences available, including type and amount of information downloaded, format (PDF, TIFF, or text) and download directory.

The Options menu in GetIPDL

The options are fairly extensive, and can be set per patenting authority.

Overall, GetIPDL is an interesting tool to check out if you need a patent downloading solution. It doesn’t quite compare to poxoq, since it can’t bulk download for free. It doesn’t compare to a commercial solution with a greater range of documents or a hosted collection of documents to ensure functionality. GetIPDL, does however, offer something above and beyond website downloading solutions, and for that reason it might fit your needs.

What do you think of GetIPDL? What are your needs when it comes to downloading patents? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Patent Information from Landon IP

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.

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8 Responses

  1. Strongly recommend it. I’ve been using GetIPDL for over 10 years.

  2. As a long-time user of patent download tools including those from Image Applications (no longer available), Patent Hunter and getIPDL, I find this tool very useful. I think it is important to remember that this is not a search tool and therefore should not be compared to other search tools that also allow downloading of patents. I definitely recommend getIPDL for downloading of patents. Although a license is needed to download bulk patents, the licensing fee is quite reasonable.

  3. Thanks for your recommendations James and Deane. It’s always great to hear people with opinions (positive or negative) on the product at hand.

    I agree that it shouldn’t be treated as a search tool, but I think that’s a strike against it in many people’s minds. They want integrated solutions–and that’s understandable.

    • Thanks Chris. As a professional patent research company located in Alexandria, VA, all of our searching of US patents and Published Applications is conducted at the USPTO on EAST. Therefore, our need is not for an “integrated solution”. We simply need to download the patents noted during our investigations and getIPDL enables this quite efficiently. There are certainly many search tools available online that enable searching and downloading of references. However, as purely a downloading tool, I recommend getIPDL.

  4. Christopher,

    When you did this review, did you look at http://www.ipdl.inpit.go.jp/notice_e.htm?

    Alan

  5. Copyright clean services are available. See http://www.paterra.com/CopyrightClean.pdf

  6. Alan, I did see their terms of use, very interesting. How does your copyright clean services relate to this topic?

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