What is the best free online source for Italian patent data? The most obvious answer would be the Worldwide Database on Espacenet, which contains the bibliographic, title, and abstract information for IT documents from the INPADOC file, as well as some representative image and citation coverage for IT records. Italian patent data coverage can be rather spotty, especially through the INPADOC file, so users may need to search through alternate sources for specific documents or date ranges for Italian patent data. Professional patent searchers will have access to subscription patent search systems that may host expanded Italian patent data beyond the basic INPADOC coverage (such as the DWPI coverage accessible through Thomson Innovation). If you don’t have access to a subscription patent search system, there are also free online search portals which host bibliographic data for Italian patent records. Users can search directly through the Italian Patent and Trademark Office National Data Search, or you can utilize the FILPAT database, provided by FILDATA srl, which hosts bibliographic data on Italian utility models.
After the jump, learn about the coverage, search, and viewing features for two free online portals that host Italian patent data!
Italian Patent and Trademark Office National Data Search
The Italian Patent and Trademark Office website is only available in Italian, so users should utilize a machine translation tool like Google Translate to translate the website into their language of choice. Users can then scroll down towards the bottom of the page to select the “National Data – Research on database” link (located below the magnifying glass icon), which will access a page with a brief description and link to the national database of the Italian Patent and Trademark Office. According to the description, the database is updated periodically and contains the following coverage:
- Patents for inventions, utility models, design, trademarks and registered translations from January 1, 1980.
- New plant varieties, supplementary protection certificates for medicinal and plant protection, and new semiconductor topographies from October 1, 1989.
- Transcripts and notes are available from January 1, 1996.
Within the database, users can search by:
- Code – Search by application/registration/publication number. A wizard input option helps users format the number correctly.
- Date – Search by application date or registration/grant date. Users can enter a date range.
- Province – Search within the national territory, military and postal deposits, or within a specific chamber of commerce in which the application was filed (region and province). Users can also enable a search for the residence of the applicant/owner and a search on a specific date or date range.
- Text – Search the text of records using Boolean operators between terms and truncation operators.
- Holder – Search by owner name.
- Class – Search by classification code for inventions (IPC), brands (Nice), designs (Locarno), and utility models (IPC). Users can limit the classification search by date and keywords in the title and description (for trademarks only).
- Advanced – Choose the record type (invention, brand, design, or utility model) and combine search of date, text, owner, inventor, classification, and priorities fields.
The hit list includes basic bibliographic data (like application/publication number, application/publication date, and title). About five results are displayed per page, and users can navigate to the next/previous page or skip to the final/first page of results.
Users can select the link within the document number to view the full record (which includes more detailed bibliographic data, such as applicant, inventors, address, classification codes, priority country, etc.). No images appear to be available for invention or utility model results.
The FILPAT database is a free search service provided by FILDATA srl, and the online database hosts bibliographic data of Italian utility models filed from January 1, 1990 up to March 31, 2011. The website states that “FILPAT is constantly updated with new applications and registrations.”
New users must register as either a company or individual, and the user will then be sent a user name and password that can be used to log on to the search service. Four search forms are available on a single page, and users can search by the following criteria through the English-language fielded forms:
- Number Search – Search by application number, priority number, or registration number.
- Date Search – Chamber of Commerce Search – Select a chamber of commerce from a drop-down menu and enter an application date or date range.
- Word Search (titles) – Enter keywords in one of three text boxes. Each text box will separate terms with a different Boolean operator (AND/OR/NOT). Truncation is automatically applied to a keyword. Users can limit results by selecting Chamber of Commerce or entering an application date/date range.
- Name Search – Search by applicant or inventor name (using Boolean operators AND/NOT). Users can limit results by selecting Chamber of Commerce or entering an application date/date range.
The hit list displays 20 results per page, and a maximum of 100 documents per search can be displayed. After conducting a search, the user will be presented with the number of search results and options to refine the search or download the results (view the hit list).
The hit list displays the full record for each results, with 20 results per page. The record for each result includes basic bibliographic data, such as title, application/registration numbers, application/registration dates, Chamber of Commerce, address, classification code, and applicant/inventor names. The system will also automatically email the user the bibliographic records for hit list results (20 records per email).
Users can also access the 1 Year Database through the FILDATA website, which allows users to search through Italian patent and design applications filed in 2009. Users can select to search for patents, designs, or both, and they can then search by applicant name and/or keywords that appear in the title of the record (in Italian).
Users should only search these portals if they aren’t able to locate the needed data through Espacenet or a subscription patent search system, since both free portals only host basic bibliographic data for Italian patent records. Neither portal seems to include representative images or abstracts with the patent records. The Italian Patent and Trademark Office National Data Search includes a broader date range for both utility models and designs than the FILPAT database, and the National Data Search additionally allows users to search through other types of Italian intellectual property, such as trademarks and plant patents. The National Data Search also includes additional search options that aren’t available on FILPAT, such as a classification code search form. The only advantage to FILPAT is the English-language search interface, although all query terms still must be entered into the search forms on FILPAT in Italian. The automatic Google Translate tool on the Google Chrome browser may be an effective solution for translating the National Data Search interface to English. These free Italian search portals should only be utilized as a last resort, though, due to the limited data coverage and language barriers.
Do you know of other free online search portals that host Italian patent data? 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.