[tweetmeme source=”Intellogist” only_single=false] Here at the Intellogist Blog, we’ve talked about toolbars to assist patent and prior art searchers before. In particular, we looked at the ipestonia Toolbar, a search tool created by patent attorney and searcher Mikk Putk (who also created the IP social network IPInsiders). Since that last post, the ipestonia Toolbar got a new name and a new look: the toolbar is now called IPNetwork’s Toolbar, and it appears to have a few additional features added since our November 2010 post (as well as a new green background and updated icons). We’ve also found another free IP toolbar called the Patent Pal Toolbar, which also includes IP search tools, news feeds, blogs, job listings, and resources for preparing for the Patent Bar Exam.
After the jump, we’ll see how the features of each toolbar can help searchers locate relavent prior art, connect with other IP professionals, and keep up-to-date with the latest intellectual property news!
Since our last post on the ipestonia Toolbar, the tool has gone through some dramatic changes. The name of the tool was changed to IPNetwork’s Toolbar (although the tool is still available for download at the ipestonia web page). The toolbar now has a green background, an IPInsiders logo, and new icons for each feature. Each icon lists the number of new updates for that particular feature:
Besides the new name and updated look, the IPNetwork’s Toolbar also includes a few features not listed in the November 2010 post:
- PriorArt Search – Forms to conduct searches on specific topics, such as Social Media Search, Latest Technologies, Slides & Presentations, Intellectual Property blogs, and Science search.
- IPSocial – A news feed of the latest updates at IP-related wikis, forums, and social networks.
- A news feed of the latest activity from IN.ee (an innovation-related news and blogging website. Most sections of the website are in Estonian).
Patent Pal Toolbar
Patent Pal Toolbar is a free downloadable toolbar created by Patent Attorney Jay A. Wahlquist, and users can search a variety of patent search systems or access IP-related information and newsfeeds through the Toolbar. The search form for Patent Pal Toolbar allows users to select from a drop-down menu of patent authority databases (Espacenet, USPTO databases, WIPO Patentscope, etc.), patent search sites (Google Patents, FreePatentsOnline, etc), and non-patent literature databases (SpringerLink, Scirus, etc). Users can apply highlighting of search keywords on any website. Other options on the toolbar include:
- Help – A drop-down menu of websites with a list of field codes or search instructions that appear when the user scrolls over the site name.
- World – Links to patent and IP office websites and databases, arranged by continent and country.
- USA – Patent Office links, journals, tips, tools, case law, legal citations, jobs, magazines, and links to other US-specific IP resources.
- Exam – Links to review courses, past exam questions, patent basics and glossaries, tips, etc. to help the user pass the Patent Bar Exam (or European Qualifying Examination).
- Feeds – 20 RSS feeds from various patent and IP-related blogs and patent authority sites.
- A Twitter feed from the toolbar creator.
- Blogs – An alphabetical list of IP-related blogs.
- Jobs – Two separate RSS feeds of IP and scientific job announcements, organized by location or field.
- A Facebook application for the toolbar.
Both the IPNetwork’s Toolbar and the Patent Pal Toolbar were created by expert patent attorneys who wanted to make a comprehensive list of resources for professionals in the IP field. Both toolbars include a detailed directory of IP-related search tools and links, and the directories are organized by function/type on IPNetwork’s Toolbar and by region and function/type on Patent Pal Toolbar. Both toolbars also include a search form that allows the user to search through a variety of websites and search fields for both patent and non-patent literature. Finally, both toolbars include news feeds from popular IP blogs and intellectual property office websites.
The toolbars also each have unique features, such as the menu of simple help guidelines for various databases on the Patent Pal Toolbar and the news feed of recent updates from IP wikis, forums, and social networks on the IPNetwork’s Toolbar. Certain features on the IPNetwork’s Toolbar might be more useful to patent and prior art searchers, such as the PriorArt Search function where various search forms for specific topics are available. The Patent Pal Toolbar includes resources that patent attorneys and law students may find more useful, like the list of Patent Bar Exam resources and the job listings for patent law jobs. Each toolbar contains a directory of links and search forms that are relavent for any IP professional, but the toolbars each may be oriented through their additional features to be more useful for a particular type of IP professional. Prior art searchers may appreciate the additional search forms available on the IPNetwork’s Toolbar, while patent attorneys and law students will find the Patent Bar Exam resources and law job listings to be very convenient.
Have you used either of these toolbars before? Do you know of any other free toolbars created for IP professionals? Let us know 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.