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AusPat version 2.0 has made quite a splash in the world of Australian patent searching. IP Australia launched the updated version with many new features and greater coverage following a lengthy Beta period. With these new additions, prior art searchers who need to explore Australian patents should check out AusPat.
Personally, I was very excited to see the update because IP Australia has done a great job enhancing the system and because after last year, I have some personal history with Australia. I was lucky enough to take a trip to Australia to visit with a friend and see Sydney (visiting the ANZAC Memorial was profound), and I was very impressed by the kindness of people there (as well as New Zealand, which I have another soft spot for). Taking a look at AusPat reminds me of my time there, ever so slightly.
Whether or not you’ve been Down Under, it’s a great time to find out what AusPat has to offer–read on and see how it can help your patent search with unparalleled features and coverage!
One of the best parts of AusPat is the excellent user documentation that accompanies the search engine. Many patent search systems have difficult-to-navigate help sections, user manuals, or FAQs, but AusPat has easy-to-read documentation that lays out all of the necessary information in an efficient manner. Bravo to the folks at IP Australia who put together the support documentation that can be found on the AusPat Index page!
A key component of the Version 2.0 launch was the expansion of coverage. AusPat coverage comprises specifications (when available) from 1904, IPC classifications from 1920, application number to serial number concordance data from 1935, standard patent applications from 1979, petty patents from 1979, and innovation patents from 2001 to present. Specification coverage is continually being updated to fill the known period between 1976-1999, where coverage gaps exist. Further data coverage information can be found on the AusPat coverage page (PDF).
With this coverage dating back to 1904, AusPat has the most extensive known coverage of Australian patent documents. Since AusPat is created by the source that controls the archives of Australian patent information, it’s a safe bet that AusPat will continue to have the best and most up-to-date Australian patent coverage in the business. This is especially true regarding the continued process of making the “known gap” specifications available to the public. Without any of the following reasons why AusPat is a great (not to mention free) resource for patent searchers, this alone should tell you that you need to incorporate AusPat into any prior art search.
Of course, coverage alone does not a system make (to paraphrase Yoda). AusPat also has the benefit of:
- Three search interfaces – including quick, structured (search form), and advanced (command line)
- Operators and wildcards – including proximity operators and both single and multiple character wildcards
- The “eDossier” – an integrated database for Open to Public Inspection patent case files
- Customizable search results interface – such as choosing and organizing columns of displayed information
- Saved searches and patent lists – 200 entries can be stored in the MyList feature
- Fast query execution and system navigation – always a big plus!
The last point is one of the reasons I highly recommend using AusPat and integrating it into your patent search routine. I know what it’s like to use clunky tools–they eventually get tossed aside, even though they are ultimately useful, unless there is absolutely no alternative. Sometimes it’s subconscious, but user friendliness and speed go a long way towards remaining “in the tool belt” for patent searchers. Little touches, like the system remembering which sections to expand and collapse (and an expand all/collapse all button) as a preference stored on a cookie, go a long way to making the user experience smooth.
What are your thoughts on the new AusPat? Besides filling in the known specification gap, what else would you like to see from further iterations of the product? We’d love to hear what you have to say in our comments section below.
This post was contributed 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 searches, trademark searches, technical translations, and information retrieval services.