Patent Search System News Round-up, 2014 Holiday Edition!

The holidays may be right around the corner, but patent database vendors and patent authorities are still busy updating their search systems and websites with interesting new features to improve your user experience and efficiency while utilizing their tools.  Let’s take a quick look at updates from the past three months (since our last round-up in September) to major subscription patent search systems, including PatBase, Orbit, and Thomson Innovation, as well as free patent search tools like Espacenet and the USPTO website.

Learn about the new semantic search form that will be added to Orbit, free Chinese patent file histories available on Espacenet, and a new version of the USPTO website, after the jump!

PatBase and PatBase Express

According to PatBase User News, the following updates were added to the system in October and December 2014:

  • Corporate Tree in PatBase & PatBase Express – Providing a way to identify subsidiaries and other affiliations of a chosen corporation, in order to include all related companies in a single assignee search. Data for the Corporate Tree is derived from a corporate relationship database compiled and maintained by Minesoft & RWS Group.
Corporate tree on PatBase.

Corporate tree on PatBase.

  • Specify sort order of publications in Claims & Descriptions view in PatBase Express – Option to sort publications when viewing Claims & Descriptions for a family record – sort by publication date ascending or descending, or sort by country by listing your country preference order e.g. have US publications listed first, followed by WO, EP, etc. The sort order will be applied to all families and saved until it is next changed.
  • Litigation option in Legal Status view – PatBase & Express users can view Litigation information for US publications. Click on the Litigation icon (a gavel) at the top of the Legal Status window to view the Litigation Summary table for US patents in that family, including an external link to RPX’s searchable patent litigation database.
  • Links to Clinical Trials Registers from FDA data table – FDA data tables on records now contain links to US and European Clinical Trials registers to check information on current trials for specified drugs. Click on the flag icons to go to the sites.
  • Direct links to the Russian register – Russian register links have been enabled – click on the R link in family table or from legal status view for Russian members to go to the register.
  • New commands for searching same text sections for a specific country – The following new commands have been introduced to PatBase to enhance keyword searches:
    • STACC – search within the same Title & Abstract for a specific country
    • STACCC – search within the same Title, Abstract & Claims for a specific country
    • SDSCCC – search within the same Description for a specific country
  • New filter option for search results records – When looking at a record in Hit view or in the Full Text view from View or Browse mode, you can now filter family members by country, grants or you can specify which document sections to show e.g. only Claims.




According to Questel release notes, the Orbit 1.9.1 release for January 2015 includes the following features:

  • New business evaluation modules
    • New module: Technology scouting: Scout through large data sets for ideas and potential targets. Review top opportunities in more detail and export to Excel or copy to a Workfile.
    • New: Ability to exclude: Define your IP environment to determine the benchmark your portfolio will be judged against. Assess, tag and visualize key actors for top threats or opportunities using the Technology Relatedness Index.
  • Search
    • Semantic search: Find patents related to a body of text.
    • New search fields: Technical domain, assignee city postcode and earliest grant date.
    • New display fields: Main IPC, CPC and US classification codes, and technical domain.
    • New export fields: Technical domain, normalized cited patents and non-patent literature, normalized citing patents.
    • New citations tab runs: These new tabs run off family-based data. Includes a new move function which allows users to copy citing/cited families to lists or Workfiles.
    • Examiner or applicant tag: Identify who made the citation.
New semantic search form that will be added to Orbit in January 2015.

New semantic search form that will be added to Orbit in January 2015.

  • Analysis
    • Technology domain chart: With 35 domains derived from IPC codes for a quick overview of the subject area.
    • Overview the subject area your analysis covers: Switch between displaying technology labels. Exhibit different technology hex charts between major players, within a technology, or of an assignee.
    • New inventor collaboration node chart: Node and connecting line size indicate the number of patent families and co-inventions.
    • Node chart display, control and export options: Improved filter options, a new focus command and ability to export to Excel.
    • 18 new analysis fields: Including dates, first priority country, technical domain, and ‘main’ classification code fields, organized with a new sub-field option.
  • Architecture
    • User field limit: Increased to 100 user fields per account.
    • New helpfile explorer: Simplifies your search of help documents in Orbit.
    • Improved compatibility with IE 10: IE 6 will no longer be supported as it is no longer supported by Microsoft and may lack security and be harmful for your work.


Thomson Innovation

The following features were added to the Thomson Innovation system during December 2014:

  • Transfer Saved Work to a Different Users – System administrators can transfer saved work from one user to another on the same claim ticket. All data is transferred; you cannot transfer individual items. Learn more about this feature through the Administrator help file “Transfer Saved Work Items“.
  • External Links Go Directly to Content – External links to record views or PDF/image downloads (e.g., on alerts or exports) now go directly to the linked content. Previously, an intermediate screen displayed. Additionally, record views accessed from external links now open in separate windows or tabs (depending on your browser settings), which helps you perform side-by-side comparisons.



A set of release notes from the EPO dated November 2014 list the following changes to Espacenet:

  • Global Dossier in Espacenet – The EPO and SIPO have now launched the Global dossier in Espacenet. Global dossier provides a single point of access to file wrapper (file inspection) content published by selected partner offices. In the case of SIPO (the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China), the EPO has been supplied with file inspection content for applications with a national filing date as from 10 February 2010 (if available), in addition to a machine translation from Chinese into English. The “Global Dossier” icon is displayed in the command line panel when a file wrapper is available. Click on the Global dossier link to open a separate window displaying the table of contents (ToC) of the family member’s file wrapper. The partner office’s logo and the family member’s application number appear at the top. You will see three columns, each containing data about the individual documents in the dossier: a date, a description and the number of pages (if figure available). Clicking on a description marked (ORIGINAL) will display the original document in Chinese. Clicking on a description marked (TRANSLATED) will display the English translation provided by SIPO of the Chinese-language original.
The Global Dossier offers CN file histories on Espacenet.

The Global Dossier offers CN file histories on Espacenet.

  • Enhanced Patent Translate Target Option – Relevant family members or “Also published as” documents (equivalents) are now shown in the Description and Claims windows to provide quick access via hyperlinks to the corresponding description or claims part of the relevant equivalents. This function enables you to read the document in .pdf format in your preferred language (if available).
  • Claims Tree Link Adapted – The Claims tree link has been enhanced to provide the Claims tree tab.
  • Manual Correction of Machine Translation – It is now possible for you to submit corrections to the translations provided by Patent Translate in Espacenet. By doing so, you are adding new corpora to the machine translation system and helping to improve its translation ability. Clicking on the Submit Corrections button will open the Correction Editor while viewing translations on Patent Translate.
  • CPC 2000 Feature Change – CPC buttons have been changed. We now have two toggle buttons for the 2000 series classifications. You can choose to show them interleaved or exclude them from the classification results list.


USPTO Website

he USPTO released a BETA version of the new USPTO website. The site has been updated based on user feedback, and a video by the USPTO describes a number of new features on the site, including:

  • Quick Links section – Provides easy access to the most heavily used material, like searching for patents or trademarks, checking in on the status of an application, or filing.
  • Patent Section – Learn about the patent process, how to file a patent application, or how to maintain a patent.
  • Trademarks Section – Learn about trademarks, how to apply for a trademark, or maintaining a trademark registration.
  • Learning and Resources Section – Additional materials for specific groups including inventors, patent agents, teachers, and children.

Users can leave feedback or report broken links by clicking the “Provide feedback” link in the yellow banner found at the top of each page.

Quick Links menu on the BETA release of the new USPTO website.

Quick Links menu on the BETA release of the new USPTO website.


Do you know of any patent search system updates?

Let us know in the comments!

And have a safe and happy holiday season!
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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