Patent search professionals will mainly rely on subscription patent databases to locate worldwide patent prior art, but sometimes full-text versions of documents or specific bibliographic/legal status data can be quickly located for free through the online services available on intellectual property office websites. IP office websites also often offer a wide range of additional search options for other types of intellectual property, such as trademarks, industrial designs, and even copyright records. In past posts, I’ve reviewed the free patent and IP search resources available on a variety of IP office websites, including the intellectual property offices of France, Singapore, and Sweden. In today’s post, I’d like to give a brief overview of the patent, trademark, and design search options available through the website of the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI). In particular, the IMPI website offers VIDOC, a search tool for locating the detailed record and related full-text documents for a variety of Mexican intellectual property records, including patent and trademarks. SIGA is another service accessible on the IMPI website that allows users to create queries through a variety of search forms in order to locate records from the Mexican Industrial Property Gazette.
Read on for a description of the broad search and display options for Mexican patent, trademark, and design records accessible through various online services within the IMPI website, including VIDOC and SIGA.
Online Services through IMPI
The website of the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) provides access to a number of free online services for filing and searching Mexican patents, trademarks, and designs, including:
- Marca en Línea (Online Brands)
- Diseño Industrial en Línea (Online Industrial Design)
- Portal de pagos y servicios electrónicos (PASE) (Payment gateway and e-services)
- Sistema de Información de la Gaceta de la Propiedad Industrial (SIGA) (the Information System of the Industrial Property Gazette)
- Visor de Documentos de Propiedad Industrial (VIDOC) (the Industrial Property Document Viewer)
- Portal de tecnología (Pymetec) (Technology Portal)
- Búsqueda subregional de patentes (CADOPAT) (Subregional Patent Search)
- Banco Nacional de Marcas (Marca-Net) (National Bank of Trademarks)
- Solmarnet (Capturing System for Trademark Applications, Notices and Internet Trade Names)
- Consulta de trámites del R.G.P (Consultation Procedures of R.G.P.)
- Clasificador de Niza (CLASNIZA) (Nice Classification)
- Consulta de trámites de copias certificadas (Consultation Procedures of Certified Copies)
- Solicitud de Información Técnica de Patentes (Request of Technical Information for Patents)
There is an English-language version of the IMPI homepage, but many of the services offered through the IMPI are only available in Spanish. Users should therefore utilize a machine translation tool like Google Translate to translate the search portals and results into their language of choice.
According to the IMPI website, the Industrial Property Document Viewer (VIDOC) is a search engine that allows you to query and download electronic records of industrial property in the following areas: trademarks, patents, contentious issues resolved, patent bibliographic records (biblioratos) and records from the Register of General Powers (RGP). VIDOC is only available in Spanish, and the portal includes three search forms:
- Simple Search – A basic keyword search form.
- Advanced Search – A command-line search form that provides a list of search fields to automatically add to the search form, as well as parentheses, wildcards, and Boolean operators.
- Structured Search – Select fields from drop-down menus and enter search terms in adjacent text boxes. Select Boolean operators to join the search terms.
Search results are automatically displayed below the search form and include basic bibliographic data with the search term highlighted.
Select the document number to view the full record, which includes three tabs:
- Description – Bibliographic data for the record.
- Documents – Links to records for individual related documents.
- Links – Links to the document record on other systems.
A record for an individual document may also include a digital copy of the document (PDF) available under one of the tabs.
The user is frequently asked to enter a reCAPTCHA code when submitting a query in a search form or downloading a document.
A full user guide for VIDOC (PDF) is available on the IMPI website (in Spanish only).
The IMPI website states that the Information System of the Industrial Property Gazette (SIGA) is the official website of the Industrial Property Gazette for the circulation, consultation, and electronic download of all volumes of the Gazette. The SIGA system includes a Google Translate drop-down menu embedded directly on the site which allows the user to translate the interface into the language of their choice. Five search options are available on the SIGA portal:
- Simple Search – Select the record type, choose whether the results must contain any words, all words, or exact phrase, and enter a keyword query.
- Advanced Search – Select the record type, legal form of the record type, date of issue, gazette copy, and enter a keyword query.
- Structured Search – Select the record type, legal form of the record type, section, select fields and connectors from drop-down menus, and enter search terms in adjacent text boxes. Select Boolean operators to join the search terms.
- Browse by Issue – Browse through PDF versions of all available gazette issues, organized by industrial property type.
- Mobile Search – Search through SIGA records on a mobile-friendly search form.
Results will appear below the search form under a “Sheets” tab and display basic bibliographic data for the record (including a representative image for some trademark, patent, and design records). Users can also choose to display results under a “PDF” tab.
Select a search result to view the full record that opens in a new window and displays a number of sections organized under tabs:
- Bibliographic data – Bibliographic data, abstract, and representative images.
- Gazette – A link to view the record in a PDF version of the gazette.
- History of Publication – A list of previous published versions of the document.
- Record – A link to the record on VIDOC.
- Links – Links to the document record on other systems.
A full user guide for SIGA (PDF) is available on the IMPI website (in Spanish only).
The IMPI website helpfully lists all online services provided by the office, and the list includes databases for specific types of IP, such as the National Bank of Trademarks, and databases searchable by geographic region, like the Subregional Patent Search tool. The two broadest online search tools provided by IMPI seem to be VIDOC, which searches and displays all Mexican IP record types and related documents, and SIGA, which searches the full Industrial Property Gazette. SIGA records also link to the related records on the VIDOC platform, so users can first conduct a search on SIGA and then transfer directly to the corresponding VIDOC record. The Spanish-language interface for VIDOC may provide some language barriers for searchers, but the use of a machine translation tool like Google Translate will solve this issue to a certain extent. Although subscription search systems are necessary for simultaneous searching of worldwide patent records, the services on an IP office website like IMPI may be used to locate additional data and full-text documents for a specific patent document from that issuing authority.
What do you think of the search and display capabilities for the free online services on the IMPI website? Let us know in the comments!
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.