Do you know how to search Taiwanese patents?

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The EPO offers an excellent resource, the East meets West forum, which is directed to an “information exchange on Asian patents.”  I follow all the East meets West news in my RSS reader, and recently learned that the Taiwan Patent Office just launched a new English-language search interface.  What’s more, the database now offers new English-language citation information for documents back to January 1st, 2008.

The news release notes that citation information was previously only available in Chinese from the Taiwan patent search site.  This brings up an interesting fact about searching the patent office websites of other countries:  there are many features of Asian patent office search systems that are only available from their native-language interfaces.  To the uninitiated, this seems amazing, but document retrieval insiders who know the tricks of the trade will assure you that it’s true.  For example, I once labored for twenty minutes without success to download a TW patent from the older Taiwan search system interface, only to read the EPO tutorial and grab it from the Chinese interface in a few moments.  Lucky for us, the European Patent Office has tried to make this specialized knowledge available to the rest of us through their Virtual Helpdesk, which includes tutorials on patent searching in China, Taiwan, India, Japan, and Korea.

To coincide with the release of the new English TIPO search interface, the helpdesk tutorials for Taiwan now include topics for retrieving citation data from the English-language interface, and on retrieving legal status data from both the Chinese and English interfaces.  While you’re checking out the Taiwan tutorials, you should click over to the entries for other countries as well:

The wealth of information in the Virtual Helpdesk is absolutely enormous.  I recommend bookmarking it! I know the tutorials have worked for me in the past.

Does anyone else have Asian patent search battle stories to share, or resources to recommend?  Let us know in the comments!

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Patent Information from Landon IP

This post was contributed by Intellogist Team member Kristin Whitman.

2 Responses

  1. Hi Kristin,

    Great article on the difficulty of searching for Asian patents. As to your last question of resources for Asian patent search tools, http://www.prior-ip.com allows for international searching from the advanced search page. Entering the Taiwanese country code, TW, into ‘Country/Collection’ allows you to search for patents. The link to a sample search on Liquid Crystal Displays is here:

    http://www.prior-ip.com/search#2;country%253A%2522TW%2522+%252Babstract%253A%2522liquid+crystal+display%2522+

    A more interesting use of prior-ip.com is to visually review clusters of related Taiwanese patents. Here is a visual landscape of the same search:

    http://www.prior-ip.com/visual-search#1;country:%22TW%22%20+abstract:%22liquid%20crystal%20display%22

    Even though prior-ip.com does not display patents using the Chinese traditional character set, the clusters of related patents are built using citation analysis, so similar patents are grouped together regardless of language or country of origin. Language independent searches such as IPC codes can also be used such as:

    http://www.prior-ip.com/visual-search#1;country:%22TW%22%20+ipc:%22G02B%205/20%22

  2. Hi Stuart, thanks so much for your comment and for letting us know about Prior IP. I’ve created a community wiki page on Intellogist for our users to add information and comments about the tool. The new page is available from:

    http://www.intellogist.com/wiki/Prior_IP

    You are welcome to add information about your product to the page as long as you only contribute objective information, in accordance with our guidelines: http://www.intellogist.com/wiki/Help:Wiki_Contribution_Policies_and_Guidelines.
    (We moderate all contributions to the wiki to ensure that a standard of objectivity is maintained.)

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