The differences between FreePatentsOnline and SumoBrain are scant, due to the fact that both patent search sites were created and are being maintained by Patents Online LLC. FreePatentsOnline.com was launched in 2004 en route to becoming one of the most visited free patent searching engines in existence today according to online traffic information company Alexa. SumoBrain was launched in 2007 but does not enjoy nearly the same traffic (again, according to Alexa.com). So, you may ask yourself, what is the difference between these two sites and why would I go to one over the other?
FreePatentsOnline and SumoBrain are essentially the same product in almost every respect, since SumoBrain was created with its older brother as its base. The patent coverage is the same, the search forms are the same, the document and search string management are the same, and even the help files are the same. The only differences are the suite of patent related tools available on FreePatentsOnline and the bulk document import and export features of SumoBrain. To see this more clearly illustrated, use the Quick Table Comparison feature on Intellogist to see how the features for both systems match up side by side. (Note: free registration required to directly compare systems.)
FreePatentsOnline houses access to the following patent related tools not found on SumoBrain, including:
- A Google Toolbar Plugin to search FreePatentsOnline
- An embeddable FreePatentsOnline search box for your personal website
- Quick links to search results for popular patent topics, assignees, new patents and applications, and “Crazy Patents”
- A Patent Plaque tool to create an embeddable web-graphic featuring an inventor’s name and a link back to the patent in question on FreePatentsOnline
SumoBrain, on the other hand, allows users to import multiple document numbers at once and then download the found documents (if they are part of the SumoBrain collection). The download consists of a .zip file with .pdf files of the requested documents inside. More information on this feature can be found in the SumoBrain Intellogist Report.
So considering the vast similarities between FreePatentsOnline (FPO) and SumoBrain, why is FPO more popular, and which search system should you use?
The reason for FreePatentsOnline’s popularity edge seems to be better name recognition, a longer-standing site, and most importantly great Search Engine Optimization. A search for any patent number covered by FreePatentsOnline will, depending on the format, yield an FPO link in the top 5 results on Google, if not the top link itself. The toolbars and embedded tools that FreePatentsOnline offers may also help drive traffic to the site. SumoBrain, on the other hand, may be the search system of choice if you find yourself debating between the two sites. After a free registration, you’ll be able to take advantage of SumoBrain’s easy-to-use bulk downloading feature—the only real difference to heavy patent searchers like myself.
Do you have experience with FreePatentsOnline or SumoBrain? Do you like them? Which do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below and rate them anonymously (after free registration) over at Intellogist.com.
This post was contributed by Intellogist team member Chris Jagalla.