Free Toolbars for IP Professionals

[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!

IPNetwork’s Toolbar

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:

The number of new updates for IPOFeeds.

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 (an innovation-related news and blogging website.  Most sections of the website are in Estonian).
The toolbar seems to be undergoing further development, since some of the icons on the toolbar don’t appear to function at all.  For instance, an icon called “Work from Home Projects” doesn’t seem to be functional yet, and some of the social media icons (Twitter, LinkedIn) also aren’t currently working.  These issues are minor, though, and don’t affect the quality of the detailed directory of IP-related links and search fields available through the toolbar.  A detailed list of available search fields and links on the toolbar can be found on the IPInsiders website (although it should be noted that this list was compiled in February 2009).

A directory of IP-related search tools and links are available on the IPNetwork's Toolbar.

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.

A directory of IP search tools and basic directions on using the search tools are available on the Patent Pal 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!

Technical Translations 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.


3 Responses

  1. Thank you very much for so detailed description! Btw, both toolbars should be available for IE, Safari, Chrome and MozillaFirefox.
    Thank you also for informing problems with buttons and icons. These are some third party apps. I will check what’s wrong.
    If you have any comment or ideas how to improve this toolbar or if you wish to add any features, links or search fields, please leave your comments here.

  2. […] said browser. Among other options, users can modify their browsers with toolbars (including toolbars for IP professionals) or seek other add-ons or […]

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