Espacenet Assistant: a free resource to learn about patent information, search techniques, and more

The Espacenet Assistant is a new tool on the Espacenet site that aims to help users understand patent information, search basics, and new features within Espacenet itself. Available in English, German, and French, the tool is user friendly and easy to navigate. Especially helpful in that regard is the interface which includes a table of contents on the left side, back/forward advancement on the bottom, and web-like home/directory at the top of most pages.

From the start, the tool offers to let you take a guided tour through a large swath of information or cut to the chase with a listing of “crash courses” that get to the meat of a specific topic of information.

espacenet assistant lesson

The “crash course” system allows users to learn at their own pace and review previous material.

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European Unitary Patent: A Quick Primer

The European Unitary Patent has been a long time coming (depending on who you ask)! In any case, the process to get us where we are today has been a lenghty one. The reality of a European Union-centric patent may seem obvious to outsiders, following the economic ties generated by the creation of the EU, but the unitary patent has long been a subject of contention.

The European Patent Convention (EPC) of 1973 is the origin of the current “EP” patent administered by the European Patent Office. This patent provides protection in the member states (and extension states) party to the EPC.

The new unitary patent will live alongside the traditional “EP” patent as an option, according to the European Patent Office:

A unitary patent will be a European patent granted by the EPO under the provisions of the European Patent Convention to which unitary effect for the territory of the 25 participating states is given after grant, at the patentee’s request. The unitary patent will thus not affect the EPO’s day-to-day search, examination and granting work.

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Patents to defend us against meteors

It seems we can’t go a single column without mentioning some sort of apocalypse. We had a bacon-apocalypse, the Mayan apocalypse, and now we have a potential apocalypse due to a large chunk of meteor flying across the sky in Russia recently, caught on numerous dashboard cameras, injuring over a thousand people due to the shockwaves. Now everyone knows that Russians put cameras on their dashboards to catch footage of cows being dumped from a truck that tips over (go to 3:01 mark), but who would have thought that technology would be used to capture what could have been the destruction of a part of Russia had the meteor impacted the Earth at a more direct angle. Since the world is largely ill-prepared to deal with a much bigger object headed toward the Earth, we need to turn to our heroes to save the day.

Here are some patents that might help us in the fight against meteors:

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Meeting the Challenges of Data Collection and Analysis

As a leader in patent analysis, Landon IP has expert searchers who answer complex questions on a daily basis to produce the highest quality results. If you work with patents, you know the obstacles we face: data collections are huge and unwieldy; errors in the data are rampant; and in short, nothing involving patent data is ever easy. Today, I’m going to share some of our most basic strategies for producing high-quality datasets that lead to reliable results. Read on to get an insight into these best practices.

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Find Patent Coverage Around the World with Intellogist’s Newly Updated Map

Intellogist’s Interactive Patent Coverage Map has been updated and overhauled with new content!

What is the Interactive Patent Coverage Map? Users can select a country or regional patenting authority by name or by clicking on the map to bring up a list of major known coverage providers for that specific entry. Information often includes the national patent office or related official site as well as the various offerings of coverage ranging from full text to bibliographic according to our scale.

interactive map

This is a condensed screenshot of the user interface for the interactive map.

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Use These Patents to Control the Weather

We’ve had a recent cold snap here on the East Coast of the US, and technology for controlling the weather would sure come in handy right now.  I was surprised to learn from a quick Google search that a variety of weather modification technology already exists, ranging from cloud seeding to hail cannons.  Many of these technologies have very limited or no scientific evidence to validate their effectiveness, but I still find it fascinating that people have generated so many ideas and inventions for weather control.  Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a product on the market that I can use to flip a switch and instantly make the weather in Washington D.C. 70 degrees and sunny.  While I wait for that invention to get a grant from the USPTO, let’s take a quick look at five granted US patents (located through Google Patents) which describe various technologies for weather modification.

Continue reading for an overview of recent inventions for controlling the weather!

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Patents to help warm you up

After an extended break that saw us survive the Mayan Apocalypse, the fiscal cliff (at least for now), and Lance Armstrong’s “I’m sorry because I want people to like me again” apology, Danny is back to help make your day more palatable with unique comedy stylings and third person references stolen directly from popular TV shows and movies over the past few decades. One of my resolutions this year has been to not be so cold. I don’t mean cold in the sense of being mean or rude to people, but physically being cold. As I have mostly lived in areas with a cold winter, the quest for warmth has been a major goal for mine for 6 months out of the year. There are two solutions to this problem as I see it: I can gain weight or purchase something unique that keeps me warm. While the thought of limitless ice cream and donuts to help me put on the layer of blubber that I recently saw on a birthing elephant seal sounds appealing because I could get to wear a moo moo, the chest pains aren’t so enticing. My best bet would be to try out some of these gadgets to help keep me warm. And if anyone who is reading is from a company that produces infomercials, let them know that I am open to writing their scripts.

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Free Online Sources of Italian Patent Data

What is the best free online source for Italian patent data?  The most obvious answer would be the Worldwide Database on Espacenet, which contains the bibliographic, title, and abstract information for IT documents from the INPADOC file, as well as some representative image and citation coverage for IT records.  Italian patent data coverage can be rather spotty, especially through the INPADOC file, so users may need to search through alternate sources for specific documents or date ranges for Italian patent data.  Professional patent searchers will have access to subscription patent search systems that may host expanded Italian patent data beyond the basic INPADOC coverage (such as the DWPI coverage accessible through Thomson Innovation).  If you don’t have access to a subscription patent search system, there are also free online search portals which host bibliographic data for Italian patent records.  Users can search directly through the Italian Patent and Trademark Office National Data Search, or you can utilize the FILPAT database, provided by FILDATA srl, which hosts bibliographic data on Italian utility models.

After the jump, learn about the coverage, search, and viewing features for two free online portals that host Italian patent data!

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Patents for Easy Cooking

Some people enjoy spending hours lovingly preparing their meals (whether that meal involves gourmet turkey stuffing or home-style barbecue), and there is nothing wrong with that. I’m just the type of person who would rather toss something in the microwave for two minutes and eat it on the go, rather than spending half the morning preparing Lemon-Ricotta Poppy Seed Pancakes and a Spanish Omelet with Romesco Sauce.  If you’re a person who feels that boiling a pot of water is about as far as you’re willing to travel into the culinary world, then you have many inventors to whom you should silently thank for letting us live in a culture of convenient food products.  From the toaster pastry to the frozen TV-dinner, there are foods for any time of day that only take moments to prepare.

Read on for a quick review of some of the quintessential food-related patents (found on Google Patents) that have simplified the cooking process!
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Free Online Patent Search Portals: Syria and Saudi Arabia

When conducting patent searches or patent analysis projects that are global in scope, patent search professionals will often need to locate bibliographic or full-text data for patent records from certain issuing authorities that have very limited or zero coverage within the regularly used INPADOC data.  The patent searcher will then need to find alternative methods for locating the patent data, such as accessing the data directly on the patent authority website.

For example, the patenting authorities for Syria (SY) and Saudi Arabia (SA) are not covered by INPADOC (although Saudi Arabia is a member of the GCC, which is covered by INPADOC). Searchers will therefore need to go directly to the issuing authority websites to locate free online patent data for Syria and Saudi Arabia.

After the jump, learn how to access the patent search service on the Syrian Patent Office website and the KACST Patent Search for Saudi Arabia!

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