In September 2012, I compared the free patent search options available for Chinese patent documents, and one option was the free English patent search interface created by SIPO. SIPO also provides another free patent search tool called the Patent Search and Service System (PSS), which went online for public testing in April 2011 and currently includes both English and Chinese search options. According to an EPO press release, the PSS includes “a number of advanced search and retrieval possibilities, such as citation and family searches, cross-lingual retrieval, legal status information, full text data and machine translation.” The tool allows users to access CN data on patents, utility models, and designs from 1985 onwards, and the system is updated monthly. Worldwide patent document data covering 97 countries (most likely INPADOC data) also appears to be searchable under the structured search form. The tool is free, but registration is necessary to access many of the more advanced tools of the system, such as viewing the Search History tab and downloading full PDF documents. Unfortunately, registration proved to be a bit problematic for an English-language user, and some features were still not accessible even after registering for the portal.
Read on to learn about the advanced search tools accessible for Chinese and worldwide patent documents on PSS, and also learn about the registration and access problems that you may encounter when using this system.