Major August News Updates for Patent Searchers!

It’s been a busy summer for patent database providers, both free and subscription alike, and here are a few examples of the latest coverage and interface updates to some major patent search systems:

  • TotalPatent has added both additional coverage (such as full text of Taiwan patent data including English machine translation) and improved PDF retrieval options.
  • Users can now view an download PDF images from the USPTO Full Text and Image Database.
  • The patent collections of Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been added to WIPO’s free PATENTSCOPE search system.

Professional patent searchers need to stay up-to-date on the coverage and new features of both free and subscription patent databases, so continue reading to learn about these important updates to three popular search systems.

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Searching for Beauty: How to Search for US Plant Patents

Spring is here, and since the azaleas are blooming and gardens everywhere are looking lovely, I thought I’d honor spring by writing a quick primer on searching for U.S. plant patents.  The USPTO website provides a thourough guide on how to apply for a plant patent, and this guide gives the following definition for plant patents in the U.S.:

A plant patent is granted by the Government to an inventor (or the inventor’s heirs or assigns) who has invented or discovered and asexually reproduced a distinct and new variety of plant, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state. The grant, which lasts for 20 years from the date of filing the application, protects the inventor’s right to exclude others from asexually reproducing, selling, or using the plant so reproduced.

Plant patents account for only a very small percentage of total US patent applications and granted patents: in 2012, there were only 1,149 plant patent applications, out of 576,763 total applications, and 860 granted plant patents.  So where should you begin your hunt for this rare species of US patent?

Read on to learn the best search strategies for searching for plant patent records on the USPTO website and Google Patents! Continue reading

USPC-to-CPC Concordance Tool Now Available on the USPTO Website!

On January 1, 2013, the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) completely replaced ECLA, and all US published applications will now carry CPC classifications. The EPO’s Espacenet search system has already added a CPC search tool to its portal, and many subscription-based patent search systems have also integrated the CPC into their US and EP patent records and search options. The official CPC website currently offers an “ECLA to CPC to IPC” concordance table for users who need find a relevant CPC symbol that corresponds to an IPC or ECLA classification symbol.  The USPTO website now offers an additional useful tool to help users locate the correct CPC symbol by searching for a corresponding US Patent Classification (USPC) symbol. With this tool, users can enter any USPC symbol and automatically generate a list of the closest corresponding CPC symbols.

After the jump, Landon IP’s librarian Kristin Whitman provides a brief guide on how to use the “Statistical Mapping from USPC to CPC” concordance tool! Continue reading

IP Awareness Assessment Tool: How Sound are Your Company’s IP Strategies?

The USPTO website recently issued a press release announcing the creation of a tool for testing your “IP Awareness”:

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) today unveiled a new web-based IP Awareness Assessment Tool designed to help manufacturers, small businesses, entrepreneurs and independent inventors easily assess their knowledge of intellectual property (IP).

The press release describes the tool as a way for the creators and consumers of intellectual property to both measure their knowledge relating to IP and create a personalized set of training materials to increase their IP awareness.  According to the press release, “users answer a comprehensive set of questions regarding IP, after which the tool provides a set of training resources tailored to specifically identified needs.”

I was intrigued by this tool, so I decided to take the assessment myself.  Read on to learn about the testing process for the USPTO’s web-based IP Awareness Assessment Tool!
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A Quick Guide to Changes on the USPTO Homepage

The patent searchers and patent analysts at Landon IP need to stay up-to-date on the latest patents news, and the most accurate news is usually found by going directly to the source: patent office websites.  For US patent news, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website is the go-to source for the latest developments in US patent law, examination procedures, and USPTO-produced patent search tools.  The USPTO website also provides valuable search resources and information on US trademarks and other IP law and policy.

The homepage of the USPTO website is a portal that should allow the user to quickly navigate to their desired resource, and this portal recently got a drastic makeover in late December.  How did this makeover change the navigation features and news available on the USPTO homepage?

After the jump, we’ll take a look at the changes to layout, navigation, and news features on the homepage of the USPTO website!
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