Pros and Cons of CIPIS: Search for Indian Patents, Designs, and Trademarks

[tweetmeme source=”Intellogist” only_single=false] Here at Intellogist, we’ve made an effort to locate as many possible sources for Indian patent, design, and trademark coverage as possible.  Patent searchers need access to a variety of search systems covering similar patent data, in case the data coverage of one system is lacking and an alternative system must be searched.  We’ve compiled a list of India Patent Search systems in our Community Reports section, we’ve located available sources of India patent coverage on the Interactive Patent Coverage Map, and we’ve written a post on the free Indian patent search systems India BigPatents and First Indian Patent Searchable Database Ekaswa.  In today’s post, we’ll take a closer look at CIPIS (Clairvolex Intellectual Property Information Services), a subscription-based online search and monitoring system for Indian patent applications, granted patents, designs and trademarks.

CIPIS is a product of Clairvolex Knowledge Processes Pvt. Ltd., and non-registered users can search the website through the Quick, Advanced, or Expert search forms for each database and view the hit list for the first four or five results.  Users must be registered to access the full result lists and full-record views.  Additional services, such as ordering full-text documents, file wrappers, and monitoring of document legal status, are also available through the CIPIS system.  The Intellogist Blog recently had the opportunity to test the Patent and Design databases in CIPIS, so read on to learn about the pros and cons of the system’s  search functions, display features, and data coverage!

Pro: There are three separate databases to search through (patent, design, and trademark), and each database has a variety of search forms available.  The patent and design databases include:

  • Quick Search – Search through a variety of fields in a single search form.
  • Advanced Search – Search within individual fields (combined by Boolean operators) using multiple search forms and drop-down menus.
  • Expert Search – A command line interface for for crafting complex searches.

The Advanced Search form for the patent database in CIPIS.

The patent database additionally includes a Full Text form, File Wrapper form, Status Update, and Patent Watch form, and the design database includes a Design Watch form.  These additional search forms appear to  allow the user to order full-text patent documents, file histories, and document/legal status monitoring services through CIPIS.  The trademark database only includes Quick Search and Advanced Search forms, as well as a Trademark Watch section.

Con: The Quick Search form for both the patent and design databases didn’t accept application/patent/design numbers as legitimate queries.  A search for an individual document number was only possible through the advanced search form for both patents and designs.  In the expert search form, I was also unable to locate any results through document number searches.  Problems with correctly formatting a number search in the expert form is partially due to the lack of help resources available on CIPIS (discussed further below).

Pro: The Quick Search lists all available fields which are searchable through the form (although it may incorrectly list document numbers as a searchable field).  Fields are easy to use in the Advanced Search form through labeled search boxes and drop down menus. Available field codes are also provided below the Expert Search form.

All available field codes are listed below the Expert Search form in CIPIS.

Con: No query formatting guidelines are provided on any of the search forms.  No help guides were accessible for trial users, but a representative from Clairvolex said that a help guide is provided to subscribed users.

Pro: Users can select to view only granted or pending documents (or both) through a drop-down menu option in the Advanced and Expert Search forms of the patent database.

Choose to search for only pending applications or granted patents in the patent database of CIPIS.

Con: Users can’t re-sort the results in the hit list (i.e. alphabetically by title or chronologically by application/publication number or filing date).

Pro:  Abstracts, IPC codes, and representative images are most often available in the full record view for granted patent records from 1985-1995.

Con: Both granted patents and applications for earlier decades (1970s and 1980s) often lack basic fields like abstracts and IPC codes in their full records.

Pro: The design database contains records dating from the 1970s to present, and all design records included Locarno classifications.

The full-record view of a design in CIPIS, including a Locarno classification and representative image.

Con:  Representative images for design records only seem to be available beginning in the mid 1990s.


CIPIS shows promise in its growing coverage of Indian intellectual property data, especially with its broad coverage of Indian designs.  The patent and design databases each have a variety of search forms for all skill levels, but the forms lack basic formatting guidelines which would improve the ease of use for the system.  Many of the patent document and design records are lacking basic record elements, such as IPC codes, abstracts, and representative images for earlier documents.  Other issues with the system include the inability to resort the hit list chronologically or alphabetically, and the Quick Search forms for the patent and design databases don’t seem to accept document numbers as valid queries.  CIPIS may be a useful tool for locating and ordering the full-text record or file history for various patent documents, and CIPIS also has an excellent collection of Indian designs, especially when compared to the coverage of Indian designs on other major subscription patent search systems.

Do you know of any other subscription-based or free search systems that cover Indian patents, designs, or trademarks?  Let us know 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.

6 Responses

  1. There was a discussion previously regarding patent number formatting. Indian numbers include region/city codes depending on where they are filed, and these codes changed when the names of the cities were de-anglicised, eg MU (Mumbai) for BO (Bombay), etc, which may be part of the problem, although the problem primarily appears to be the lack of help.

  2. That issue definitely proved to be tricky when trying to search for the same applications located in CIPIS within PatBase. The region/city codes used in the applications in CIPIS were often different from the codes used in PatBase, so it took a bit of trial and error to figure out the corresponding codes in each system.

  3. The key question, I believe, is what is unique about the coverage of this database, i.e., what could I find here that I could not find via a database “fed” with INPADOC data?

    • The breadth of the Indian design coverage is unique to this particular database. The DOCDB coverage, as of W 46/2011, covers Indian patents (kind codes A1 and E) from 8/2/1975-5/11/2007. The Indian designs have a kind code of S, and although PatBase includes limited design coverage for Indian patents, CIPIS has bibliographic data and Locarno classes for Indian designs back to the 1970s (representative images seem to be available from the mid 90s in CIPIS).

  4. Try

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