Changes to the Prior Art Database at

[tweetmeme source=”Intellogist” only_single=false] Users who subscribe to the Prior Art Database at may have noticed some major changes to the available search interfaces in the past few months. provides access to the Intellectual Property Library, a freely searchable database with patent, patent application, and non-patent literature collections.  Users can also access the Prior Art Database  at, which contains collections of technical disclosures.  Both databases are freely searchable without accounts or subscriptions, but users must register and pay to download full documents.  Read on to learn how the Prior Art Database at has changed!

Search Forms

All users can still access the Prior Art Database at the URL .  Users who attempt to go to will be automatically redirected to the new URL.  Non-registered users and users with free accounts can access two search forms for the Prior Art Database: the “All Non-Patent Literature” search form and the “Prior Art Database” search form.  The All Non-Patent Literature search form is a simplified version of the non-patent literature search form for the IP Library, which we’ll discuss later.

The Prior Art Database search form  is described as a “legacy search engine” with its own unique syntax (PDF), ability to search within the user’s uploaded documents, and option to search the collection of Daily Certification Records (not available in the IP Library).  Besides the Daily Certification Records collection filter, which is unique to this search form,  another collection filter that only appears in this search form is the filter for “US Statutory Invention Registrations” (SIRS).

Search form for the Prior Art Database - not logged in or free account.

Users who have a paid subscription to the Prior Art Database can still access the Concept search form, which displays a grayed-out tab for non-subscribing users.  The Concept search form uses Textwise to conduct semantic text searches based on concepts, and users need to provide “at least one full sentence with at least five meaningful keywords” in order to correctly conduct a search.

Users with paid subscriptions to the Prior Art Database can still use the Concept Search Form.

When users select to login to the Prior Art Database, they are taken to a general log-in page.  One large change that users will notice when signing on to the Prior Art Database is this announcement under the log-in form:

Prior Art Database users:

We recently completed integrating the Prior Art Database login into the Library and its related services. Sign in here with your Prior Art Database credentials; on the Your Account page there is now a Prior Art Database tab with relevant links and your voucher status, including a direct link to publishing (if applicable).

After logging in, users are taken to the Intellectual Property Library, where they can view their account details.  Users can return to the Prior Art Database search forms after logging in by selecting “Prior Art Database” from the “Our Company” section of the main drop down menu.  Users may also select to search within the IP Library’s search form for non-patent literature.

The Prior Art Database is now integrated with the Intellectual Property Library, so users can search the Prior Art Database collections through the IP Library’s Non-Patent Literature search form.  Under the “Collections” section of the form, users can select to search in the Prior Art Database collection and any sub collections (except Daily Certification Records collection or US Statutory Invention Registrations (SIRS) collection).

Non-patent literature search form for the Library.

Hit Lists

The  hit lists for The Prior Art Database search forms are now very similar to the hit lists for searches in the IP Library.  If a user isn’t signed in to a free or subscription account, then advertisements will appear above the search results, as illustrated in the screenshot below.  The search results still have a visual depiction of the relevancy ranking for each result, but users can’t save individual search results in the hit list (as was previously available through the “add to briefcase” icon) .

Search results for Prior Art Database - not logged in.

The hit list for IP Library search results adds the option of filtering, modifying, or saving searches.

Search results for the Library.

Viewing Individual Results

Viewing individual results is exactly the same for the IP Library and Prior Art Database.  If users aren’t logged in to an account, then advertisements will be displayed in a side bar beside the record.  Users can view a text preview or the first page of the PDF version of the document through the document record menu.  Under “Options,” users can also view similar documents by selecting “More Like This” or download the full document (for a fee).

Record for a document on

Conclusion has integrated nearly all the features of the Prior Art Database into the IP Library.  Users can search for and view documents in the Prior Art Database collection through the IP Library’s Non-patent literature search form.  The hit lists and document viewing menu for both the IP Library and the Prior Art Database are  nearly identical.  The Prior Art Database still offers a legacy search form, where two additional collection filters are available.  Users with a subscription to the Prior Art Database can still also access the Concept search form when logged in.  Overall, seems to be moving towards an integrated search interface, where users can freely search all collections available through and pay for document downloads.

Have you noticed any other changes to  Tell us in the comments!

Patent Searches from Landon IP

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.


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