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?
Filed under: Patent Search News, Patent Search Systems | Tagged: CAS, CAS REGISTRY, ChemAxon, Chemical Abstracts Service, ChemSpider, DecrIPt, dwpi, French Patent Office, IFI Claims, Markush, Markush DARC, Merged Markush Service, MMS, Pharm, Questel, Thomson Reuters, Wolters Kluwer | 8 Comments »