The Indian Patent Information Retrieval System

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India is an exploding market for intellectual property. Patent applications are exceeding 30,000 per year (see page 9) and this number is sure to erupt as Indian patent law reforms and becomes more easily enforceable. To keep up with demand, the Indian Patent Office has been revamped. As part of this new-look Indian Patent Office, the Indian Patent Information Retrieval System (also known as IPAIRS, iPairs or iPAIRS depending on what part of the site you look at) was established in early 2010.

iPairs has three main components: Granted Patent Search, Published Patent Application Search, and Application Status. Patent search for both granted and published applications includes bibliographic and abstract searching, while Application Status provides various legal status documents akin to a file history. Read on for more details!


A quick word of warning before using iPairs–the site is slow and will frequently time out. Sometimes certain queries time the system out every time and other times repeatedly trying the same query will result in success. The site appears to be a work-in-progress and on more than one occasion while doing testing for the purpose of writing this article, the entire system was unresponsive.

The Granted/Application search pages both offer two interfaces: Quick Search and Advanced Search. Users can search more than one field at a time via checkboxes in Quick Search or can use Boolean operators to search two separate fields at once in Advanced Search. The following fields are available:

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Application Number
  • Applicant Name
  • Inventor Name
  • IPC
  • Patent Number
  • Name of Patentee

The results list can be sorted by patent number, application number, date of filing, title of invention, or applicant name. The individual document view contains bibliographic information and the option to view the full text of the specification. The full text appears to have many scanning errors, so users may want to look at a copy of the original document before drawing any final conclusions. No patent drawings are available.

The Application Status search is even more spotty in coverage and availability, and is disclaimed by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks thusly:

Disclaimer: The information under “Application Status” is dynamically retrieved and is under testing, therefore the information retrieved by this system is not valid for any legal proceedings under the Patents Act 1970. In case of any discrepancy you may contact the appropriate Patent Office or send your comments to following email IDs:
Patent Office, Kolkata: kolkata-patent@nic.in
Patent Office, Delhi: delhi-patent@nic.in
Patent Office, Chennai: chennai-patent@nic.in
Patent Office, Mumbai: mumbai-patent@nic.in

Once one successfully finds a document in the Application Status search system, the following options are presented:

  • Print
  • “Back Repor” [sic] – appears to go back to the search page
  • View Complete Specification – linked to the specification, if available
  • View E-register
  • View Examination Report(s)
  • Order(s)/Decision(s)
  • View Documents – broader variety of file history documents

The bottom line with iPairs is that it’s a nice option to consult if you’re looking for Indian patent information (especially file history related information, which is not available electronically elsewhere) but availability and reliability problems plague the service and make it unwise to rely on as a sole resource. With that in mind, it makes sense for your important search to be conducted by experts with multiple tools on hand as well as international patent searching expertise, such as Landon IP’s search team.

With the rapidly developing intellectual property market in India and the overhaul in the patent office, one could reasonably expect iPairs to improve. We here at Intellogist will certainly let you know if it does. In the meantime, we want to hear from you! What has your experience with iPairs been like? What features would you like to see added? Let us know in the comments below.

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This post was edited by Intellogist Team member Chris Jagalla. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company, Landon IP, a major provider of patent search, technical translation, and information services.

6 Responses

  1. In reply to your post, please find below the detailed information on how TotalPatent answers the India content questions:

    LexisNexis has about a third of a million patents from India in TotalPatent, all with English language Titles and about half with an English language Abstract. Although incomplete, currently the 22,000 Full Text (including the Description and Claims) records for India still represents the largest, searchable collection of IN data available on a commercial platform and is supported by roughly 50,000 PDFs and almost 100,000 front page and other images. The data may be searched by a range of fields, including titles, abstracts, descriptions, claims, assignee and inventor names; as well as by various classification schemes including IPC, ECLA, ICO and IDT.

    The bibliographic data is loaded onto our systems every week and is updated in line with the publications on the site of the Intellectual Property India Office. The data is further enhanced by LexisNexis in several ways: Publication, Application and Priority numbers, as well as other relevant numbers, are all standardized, making the data more easily retrievable. In addition to the European Patent Office’s INPADOC family, LexisNexis calculates a Main and Extended patent family that covers authorities not currently available in the INPADOC collection. Other value added elements incorporated into the Indian data by LexisNexis include the creation of forward citations, the addition of various classification schemes as mentioned before and the production of “clipped images”.
    http://www.lexisnexis.com/ip

  2. […] with a fast growing appetite for intellectual property. We explored this issue last year with our profile of the iPairs system (a must read). On the other hand, several commercial patent search systems such as PatBase, […]

  3. how to view images of granted patents on IPO ???

    • It appears that several main functions of the site are not currently working, unfortunately. Furthermore, PDF files are only sometimes available.

  4. […] Indian patent documents (with full-text, partial text, and bibliographic coverage), such as CIPIS, iPairs, India BigPatents, and First Indian Patent Searchable Database Ekaswa. A new search system known as […]

  5. […] Back in November 2010, we looked the Indian Patent Information Retrieval System (IPAIRS), a search portal offered by the Indian Patent Office. We concluded that although IPAIRS is a useful free source to have access to, the site has a number of coverage and reliability problems, and users should rely on professional patent search services to obtain the most thorough and comprehensive results for prior art searches of any kind. IPAIRS Version 2.0 was released in April 2012, so how does this updated portal compare to the old version of the system? […]

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