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In the previous post we discussed the unique features of DEPATISnet, official search system of the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA). Stephen Adams, in Information Sources in Patents, 2nd edition, described the secure connection options and the IKOFAX query language available through DEPATISnet. Other important features of the system include its English language interface, IPC search and concordance section, and the expert search form that helps users create complex queries in a command line interface.
Today we look at five more useful features of the DEPATISnet system. Can you view and download PDFs through the site? What other search forms are available? Read on to find out!
6. Family Search
Users can search for the patent family members related to a particular document by entering the publication number in the “Family” search form. The search will return all documents within the family related to that publication number. The DEPATISnet help section doesn’t specifically state which type of patent family criteria is used, but it is likely displaying the INPADOC family.
7. PIZ Support
Users can receive free support from the “Patent Information Centres (PIZ)” by entering a description of the desired search criteria into a text box and sending this description and personal contact information to PIZ support. The initial support answer is free, but additional services require a fee.
8. Help Section
The help guide on DEPATISnet is detailed, easy to navigate, and accessible through any search form. A link to the help guide is provided under the title of each search form, and the user is taken directly to the relevant help section. Users can access the entire index of the help guide in the side menu of the window that automatically pops up when the link to the help section is selected.
9. PDF View
If a PDF version of a document is available, users can access the PDF view through either the results list or the bibliographic record of the document. In the results list, users can select the PDF icon under the “Original document” section to open the PDF view. Users can also select the “PDF display” button at the bottom of the bibliographic record for the document. The PDF display allows the users to view the document in three different resolutions (100, 150, or 300 dpi), browse through the pages using forward/backward arrows, or view different sections of the document (Bibliographic data, First page, Abstract, Search report, Description, Claims, Drawing, Additional Abstract).
10. Full Document Download
Finally, users can download and print the full version of the document in the PDF view. After the user selects the “Load full document” link at the top of the page, they’ll be prompted to enter an alphanumeric verification code to prove that they are human. The user can then print or save the full PDF version of the document.
DEPATISnet does not have the same capabilities as commercial databases, such as bulk download, data analysis, or alert services. The DEPATISnet portal doesn’t provide the same country coverage as Espacenet, and it doesn’t provide legal status information. DEPATISnet does provide many useful features, however, that make it an excellent search tool for German and other international patent documents (or even US documents). The option for secure connections in DEPATISnet is a unique feature which Espacenet lacks, and professional patent searchers will appreciate this added security feature on a free service. The variety of search forms, PDF view and download, and detailed help section also make the system a powerful search tool for both experienced and inexperienced patent searchers.
Which national or regional patent authorities do you think offer the best search systems? We’d love to hear your opinion in the comments!
This post was contributed by Joelle Mornini. 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.