Broad Non-Patent Literature Coverage on Thomson Innovation

The Thomson Innovation System Report on Intellogist was fully reviewed and updated earlier in October, and last month I highlighted some of the major updates to non-patent literature search features on Thomson Innovation. Today I’d like to take a step back and highlight the unique non-patent literature (NPL) coverage available on Thomson Innovation, one of the only major patent search platforms to host a broad NPL collection.  Large general content search platforms, such as STN and Dialog, do host both patent and NPL files, but these systems were not specifically designed for patent searchers and analysts.  Some major patent search platforms, such as TotalPatent and, offer access to patent litigation data, and TotalPatent also offers some links to Scopus records for non-patent literature references.  For the most part, however, search platforms designed specifically for patent searchers lack access to scientific and business literature.  Thomson Innovation is an exception, though, since it offers optional access to both a Business Collection and a Literature Collection, searchable on the Thomson Innovation interface.  Users even have the option to search the Patent, Business, and Literature collections simultaneously on Thomson, which may be useful when quickly scoping the possible patent and NPL prior art available for a broad validity search.

Continue reading to learn about the Literature and Business collections available on the Thomson Innovation platform, and how you can search both patent and non-patent literature simultaneously on Thomson Innovation!

Literature Collection
Thomson Innovation’s Literature Collection provides the user with access to several science and engineering related databases.  The user can choose to do a literature search in either Fielded Search, Cited References Search, or Expert Search. A Fielded search is a standard search with fields such as author, “time span,” language, and document type.  A search in the Cited References mode will search for articles by cited author, cited work, or cited year and is only available for certain collections (Web of Science and Conference Proceedings).  Finally, literature searching can be conducted through an Expert Search form, similar to the one used for the patent search tab which allows command line searching.

The fielded search form for the Literature Collection.

After the query is constructed and submitted, Innovation displays the Literature Search results in a list format that includes title, abstract, author, document type, organization, publication date, and source data points for each result. The title of each record is hyperlinked and clicking on this link will open the record in Record View. Icons on the left side of each result indicate if the item is available in full text as open access, Custom Journal Sets, or if the item is available for full-text PDF purchase. The full-text PDF purchase option can be suppressed by a system administrator.

Information such as bibliographic data, abstract, indexing and citation information is prominently displayed on the Literature Record View screen. On the right side of the screen, Innovation displays highlighted hit terms just as when searching patent content.

See the Thomson Innovation Intellogist Report for a full overview of the search and display features for the Literature Collection.

The Literature Collection in Thomson Innovation includes:

  • Web of Science– Thomson Reuters product offering retrospective searching of scientific literature (Source: Thomson Reuters)
    • Dates covered: 1898-present
    • Update frequency: Weekly
    • File size: 48 million records
  • Current Contents Connect– Complete tables of contents, abstracts, and bibliographic information from the most recently published journals and books (Source: Thomson Reuters)
    • Dates covered: 1998-present
    • Update frequency: Data is updated daily, per business week
  • Conference Proceedings– Thomson Reuters product covering over 6.5 million papers from over 150,000 conferences, includes both the Science & Technology and Social Science & Humanities editions (Source: Thomson Reuters)
    • Dates covered: 1990-present
    • Update frequency: Weekly
  • Inspec– Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) bibliographic database (Source: Institution of Engineering and Technology)
    • Dates covered: 1898-present
    • Update frequency: Weekly
    • File size: 13 million records

Business Collection

The Business Collection in Thomson Innovation contains a multitude of business related data and literature. The Business Search form is very similar to the patent search and literature search forms in design and function. Collections to be searched are chosen by selecting checkboxes along the top of the form. After executing the search, the results from each collection are displayed separately, through the use of separate tabs for each hit list.  The number of hits returned from each collection is shown in parentheses.  Results within each tab are listed with a hyperlinked title which will take the user to a full record view.

Fielded search form for the Business Collection.

The available fields in a Business record vary depending on the collection. As an example, a standard Business record from the Newsroom collection will contain a title, publication name and date, copyright information, and lead paragraph, followed by the text of the article.

See the Thomson Innovation Intellogist Report for a full overview of the search and display features for the Business Collection.

The Business Collection content includes:

  • Company– Essential details about company ownership, location, trading activities, multiple year financial information, and annual reports (Source: Gale Group Company Intelligence®)
    • Dates covered: Current
    • Update frequency: Daily
    • File size: 379,319 companies as of January 2006
  • Market– Article and report summaries covering many aspects of industry and economic indicators (Source: Gale Group TableBase)
    • Dates covered: 1997-present
    • Update frequency: Weekly, approximately 1,000 records per month
    • File size: 97,481 records as of January 2006
  • NewsRoom– Retrospective coverage of market, company, product, and industry news (Source: West NewsRoom)
    • Dates covered: 1980 to current
    • Update frequency: Near-constant
    • File size: Records from over 12,000 publications
  • Research– Summaries of the type of research conducted; summary of affiliated government agencies for research organizations and universities; directories of funding groups and organizations (Source: Research Centers and Services Directory)
    • Dates covered: Current file corresponds to this year’s print edition of the directory
    • Update frequency: Annual (reload)
    • File size: 31,754 organizations as of January 2006

Search All Content

Thomson Innovation Search All Content enables the user to search patent, literature and business content in a single search. The collections searched are specified beside step 1, “Review Selected Collections” (choose collections via check box). The availability of any of these content sets is determined by the terms of the user’s subscription. In other words, if a user’s subscription does not grant them access to the literature and business content, then the Search All Content feature will not be available.

Search All Content form.

To allow for effective searching across multiple content sets, Search All Content is based on a selection of only the most similar fields in each content set. Therefore, a search in Search All Content will be much more generalized than one performed only in a single content set.  After submitting the query, Innovation returns a results page containing up to three tabs, one for each area searched in the Search All Content form. Any combination of the patents, literature, and business collections can be searched during Search All Content.

The Quick Search form may also be used to search all content. Simply select “All Content” from the drop-down menu (other options are Patents, Publication Numbers, Literature, and Business), enter a keyword into the Quick Search form, and select “Go.”


Thomson Innovation is unique among major patent search systems (such as TotalPatent, PatBase, and, due to its broad collections of both scientific and business literature optionally accessible on the platform.  Thomson Innovation is maintained by the enormous publisher Thomson Reuters, so the system has access to many Thomson Reuters products that are included as non-patent literature coverage (such as Web of Science and Current Content Connects).  Thomson Innovation integrates the non-patent literature (NPL) coverage seamlessly into the intuitive interface of the platform, with individual search options for each collection and a cross-content search option that allows users to search all three collections simultaneously.  The only downside to the “Search All Content” option is that it only offers very broad fields to be searched, such as Person, Organization, Timeframe, and Location.  This is understandable, however, since patent and non-patent literature records will most likely only have very general fields in common.  Overall, the NPL search features on Thomson Innovation is an excellent subscription tool that patent searchers should be aware of when scoping the available prior art for a broad patent search.

Have you used the non-patent literature collections on Thomson Innovation?  What did you think of the coverage and search tools?  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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