The Best Patent Search Gifts of 2011

[tweetmeme source=”Intellogist” only_single=false] The holidays are a time to reflect on all the wonderful gifts for which we have to be thankful: family, friends, and (of course) database platform updates.  Ok, so maybe everyone isn’t excited over every new Espacenet update, but for patent searchers, a new search system update can be as exhilarating as a fresh batch of presents on Christmas morning.  A database update may add new search functions, archiving/analysis features, or new data coverage that can give the searcher new sources and methods for locating relavent prior art.  So, in honor of the holiday season, I’ll list some of the top gifts that patent searchers received in 2011.

After the jump, read about the best patent database updates, new free patent search and analysis sites, the best new non-patent literature search platform, and the best new tool for patent attorneys!

Best Patent Database Updates:

  • Espacenet v.5 (March 2011) – In March, the EPO’s free patent search platform Espacenet got an entirely new look (and name change).  The system went from being called “esp@cenet” to “Espacenet,” and new features for the version 5 update include:
    • Export-to-Excel function
    • RSS feeds
    • Breadcrumb navigation
    • Query history

* The entire Espacenet system report on Intellogist has been updated to reflect these changes.

  • PatBase Updates (March, July, and October 2011) – PatBase was the gift that just kept on giving this year.  This subscription patent search system had three major updates in 2011, and some highlights of the new features and coverage added to the system include:
    • Ability to archive saved private folders, searches, and search histories.
    • Assign ranking to folder results.
    • Custom user fields and option to bulk-classify records.
    • Citation timeline and citation line graph.
    • Upload Family and Application number function.
    • A new color-coded and searchable table of all legal events related to family member documents with integrated Register links that displays when the user selects the “Status” link from the family record.
    • Full-text for Scandinavia and other European countries (Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland and Spain).
    • Full-text for Indian applications, Full-Text and Biblio for Indian grants.
    • Chinese Full Text and Machine Translations of Full- Text.
    • Japanese Machine Translations of Full-Text.
    • New “same document” field qualifiers.
    • Visual Explorer – a new “clustering and visualization tool.”
    • Folder shortcuts.
    • Search machine-translated non-Latin full text from the non-Latin search form.
    • A new “Hits” view for family records.
New Free Patent Search and Analysis Sites:
  • ArchPatent (which was reviewed at the Article One Partners Blog) is a a free patent search website created by Arch Data Intelligence, Inc that allows users to search for US patents and applications back to 1920 (EPO, JPO,  and WIPO patents, as well as patents back to 1790, are features that are coming soon).  Users can search through a basic or advanced search form, and the hit list includes detailed filtering options (filter by US Classification, Assignee, Examiner, Agent, Applicant, and Most Referenced).  Registered users have their own “workspace” where they can save selected patents and searches, and both registered and non-registered users can download PDFs of documents.
  • Patexia (which was reviewed in an earlier Intellogist blog post) is a free patent search and analysis website (as well as an online IP community) where users can search for US patent documents and create visualization (bar or line graphs) of the search results.
Best New Non-Patent Literature Platform: ProQuest Dialog is a new platform by ProQuest LLC that will eventually replace all other Dialog and Datastar platforms.  Kristin Whitman reviewed ProQuest Dialog in May 2011, where she listed the many benefits of the new platform:
The great news about ProQuest Dialog is that it is a modern, up-to-date web-based platform with all the conveniences we’ve come to expect in a search interface: adequate search forms, auto-suggest features, thesaurus lookup functions, faceted results set navigation, and export capabilities.  But the really, truly excellent news is that Dialog has finally gotten rid of their antiquated pricing system, which charged users for database connect time as though we had just dialed-in through a modem.


Best New Tool for Patent Attorneys:  We’ve focused on the new tools relavent to patent searchers, but Patent Workbench® is a new tool from Landon IP that was created especially for patent attorneys. The Patent Workbench® service allows patent attorneys to analyze and manipulate patent file history information through the Patent Workbench™ Reader, using a special file history package prepared by Landon IP.  Read the Intellogist blog post that describes some of the special features of Patent Workbench®, such as the the ability to add searchable notes to any part of the file history, the Claims Matrix feature, and the global search feature that can search the entire file history, related reference PDFs, and your annotations.  Users can request a free trial to test a sample file package within the Patent Workbench® Reader.


These are just a few of the many updates and new patent and non-patent literature search systems that were released in 2011.  Check out the Major Recent Updates of Intellogist System Reports and new Intellogist Community Reports to learn about other new releases.


What do you think was the best “gift” for patent searchers in 2011?  Was it a search system update, or is there a new patent or non-patent search system that thrills you?  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.


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