A Guide to the CPC Search Tool on Espacenet

We’ve been following the development and roll-out of the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) over the past year, from the initial release of the CPC scheme to a guide describing how major patent search systems will integrate the CPC into their search features. The CPC has already replaced ECLA as of January 1, 2013, and the Espacenet search system has been updated to reflect these changes. The CPC replaces ECLA in the classification section under the Advanced search form on Espacenet, and the CPC search tool is now available on Espacenet under the “Classification search” option.  The tool allows users to keyword search or browse through the CPC hierarchy, view code definitions, notes, and warnings, and select codes to add to the Advanced search form or use to search directly for patent records.

Continue reading for a visual guide to every feature within the CPC search tool on Espacenet!

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STN News Update: ReaxysFile, CAS REGISTRY, and more!

There have been several notable changes to STN since we last checked in on the Intellogist Blog. Recently there has been a flurry of activity including:

  • The launch of a new collected database
  • Additional experimental property data in CAS REGISTRY
  • A big ReaxysFile update

Read on for more details of this triple news blast!
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Chemical Data Access Tool from the US Environmental Protection Agency

Another day, another free source of non-patent data from the US Government! Folks seem to like hearing about these (especially because they’re free, methinks) so today we’ll take a look at the Chemical Data Access Tool from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA made the Chemical Data Access Tool available on December 22, 2010, but the impetus for the launch of this tool has roots dating back a year earlier:

In September 2009, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson committed to strengthen EPA’s current chemical management program. Part of that commitment was to increase access to and transparency in TSCA-related chemical information held by EPA and companies.

Read on as we give you the scoop on the databases this tool queries and the surprising functionality contained within (hint: CAS Numbers!).

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Are your chemical structure searches catching Markush claims?

There are only a few commercial information providers that can cope with the challenge of querying the chemical information disclosed in Markush structure claims in patents.   If you’re not familiar with Markush patent claims,  they are patent claims which describe generic patent structures that could include many different interchangeable parts.  These complex patent claims can disclose hundreds of different potential chemical compounds by describing them in generic ways.  For an example, see the chemical structure searching section of our Best Practices wiki article on Chemistry and Pharmaceuticals Searching.

Some chemical information companies have been interested in creating registries of known chemical substances that exist anywhere (not just in patent art).  For example, the Chemical Abstracts Service has a well-known file of chemical substances called CAS REGISTRY, and the ChemSpider database is a newer service which aggregates publicly available chemical data from the web into a single repository.  But searching Markush claims is not just a matter of querying a database of known structures.  To conduct a successful Markush search, a search engine must be able to search through the patent claim language and understand all the possible compounds that may be covered by structures described in  generic chemical terms.   For example, how would you teach a computer to understand that a patent which claims a compound substituted by “an alkyl, an alkoxy, hydroxy, or amino,” is a good match for the specific chemical structure you drew as a query?

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Spotlight on GenomeQuest

Recently I was able to attend a demo of the GenomeQuest sequence searching tool, which is designed to support sequence searching for prior art investigations.   GenomeQuest provides access to proprietary patent database collections which have been indexed especially for sequence searching, as well as to public access databases of genetic and protein sequences.

One of GenomeQuest’s most notable databases, GQ-PAT, contains a proprietary collection of nucleotide and protein sequences extracted from patent collections, including the US, EPO, WO/PCT, and the DNA Databank of Japan (where the JPO deposits patents that contain sequences).  Because some WO/PCT documents are only available as images and not as electronic text, GenomeQuest employs an in-house Optical Character Recognition (OCR) process that can involve human editing with the assistance of a related machine-readable documents, such as a US family member.  The patents in GQ-PAT are also supplemented by corresponding INPADOC records to ensure that their legal status and assignee information stays up-to-date with this source.

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