Finding Patent Reform Editorials at Factiva.com

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the America Invents Act.   The Senate passed its version of the bill in March, and the House of Representatives passed its own version on June 23, 2011 with a 301-117 vote.  According to a CNN article by David Goldman titled “Patent reform is finally on its way,” key issues addressed in both bills include “a transition of the U.S. patent law from a ‘first to invent’ to a ‘first to file’ system,” “provisions that attempt to keep patent battles out of the courts,” and provisions to “allow the U.S. Patent and Trade Office to set and potentially keep its own fees.”  Over the past week, my Google newsfeed has been inundated  with a flurry of editorials and blog posts either labeling the bill as a travesty or a godsend.  Am I going to add to this growing mountain of diverse opinion pieces?  No.

Instead, I’ll show you how to search for these editorials in a useful subscription-based search system for locating business intelligence and non-patent literature.  Read on to view a case study of searching for patent reform commentary in Factiva!

The Search

According to the community report on Intellogist, Factiva is “a business intelligence search system created by Dow Jones that offers a collection of ‘more than 31,000 sources from more than 200 countries in 26 languages, including nearly 600 continuously updated newswires.’”  Factiva has both a simple and advanced search form, and for this search, we’ll use Factiva’s advanced Search Builder.  Under the Search Builder, users can choose a Free Text Search (one search field) or Search Form (multiple search fields).  I chose to enter my search terms in the Free Text form.  I searched for the phrases (“America Invents” OR “patent reform”), which can appear in an part of the article.

Use Factiva's search builder to enter search terms and select limiting factors for your query.

The limiting criteria in the Search Builder form are organized into hierarchical menus, and users can select limiting terms from these menus in order to narrow the search.  I chose to limit the search within the past three months, and I limited the subject to Editorial, Analysis, or Commentary/Opinion.

Search Results

After conducting the search, I was taken to the results page.  Factiva has an extremely customizable results page, and users can choose from multiple display options, including the option to view the search results list in one frame and a full or preview version of the selected result in an adjacent frame.  A frame on the left side of the page is also available to show statistics for the search results based on the limiting criteria (Industry, Subject, Sources, Date, Companies, Keywords, Executives).  Users can further narrow the search results by selecting the statistics in the left frame.  I got 14 results from my search for patent reform editorials from the last three months, and I chose to view the results without the third frame showing the full version of the selected result.

Factiva displays limiting criteria in a side window and the search results in a main window.

However, I did want to export the results to a Word document, so I could annotate the articles.  Factiva users can choose to view, email, print, or download the search results in a variety of formats, including XML, RTF, or PDF.  Search results can also be added to a “Newsletter” to share with colleagues.  The RTF option is the most compatible format when exporting to Word, so I selected all results and then chose the RTF icon in the top menu.

Select the RTF icon to export the search results into a Word document.

User can select to view the results in three different formats in RTF: “Headline Format,” Article Format,” or “Headline, Article, and TOC.”  I decided to download all 14 articles in Article Format in RTF. The resulting Word document included either headlines (with links to the full version) and summaries or full articles for all search results.

The final Word document, after downloading all results in RTF Article Format.

Conclusion

So, first of all, what types of editorials did I find?  Of the 14 editorials in the search results, seven of the articles spoke favorably of the patent reform bill and six of the articles were critical of the bill.  One article was a duplicate.  So on the topic of patent reform, I can only come to the conclusion that the issue is divisive.

On the topic of Factiva, however, I can definitely conclude that this search tool is an excellent resource for finding up-to-date business data.  The search forms and display features are very customizable and intuitive, and users can download, read, or share their search results in a variety of formats.  The search features are only one facet of Factiva, and users can also scope out useful business intelligence through Factiva’s Company and Executive Snapshots.

Have you used Factiva?  How was your experience with the system, and would you recommend any other search tools for business intelligence and news?  Let us know in the comments!

Patent Analysis from Landon IP

This post was contributed by Joelle Mornini. 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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3 Responses

  1. Without an end to fee diversion, “patent reform” is a waste, or worse.

    • Personally, I agree that’s the most important point of contention–funding is so important.

      • Fee diversion seems to be more divisive than the first-to-file switch…fee diversion was mentioned as a major discussion point in a majority of the editorials on patent reform I’ve read.

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