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!
Continue reading


New Features in Thomson Innovation Reflected in Revised Report

[tweetmeme source=”Intellogist” only_single=false]We recently profiled the new non-patent literature search options that were released on Thomson Innovation in August, and now the full Thomson Innovation System Report on Intellogist has been fully reviewed and updated!  Thomson Innovation is a sophisticated search platform created by Thomson Reuters that offers both patent and non-patent literature coverage, as well as a number of analysis tools. Since the last full update of the report, Thomson Innovation has seen multiple releases of new coverage, search, and viewing options, and the interface also got a completely new look in the fall of 2011.  Learn about important coverage updates, such as an enhanced Japanese language patent collection and new Canadian full-text coverage.  We’ll also look at a few of search and viewing features recently added to the system, such as enhancements to the custom fields tool and the new Quick View in the full record display.

After the jump, read about the newest coverage, search, and viewing features added to the Thomson Innovation platform!

Continue reading

Where to Find the Latest Search News and Database Updates

[tweetmeme source=”Intellogist” only_single=false]Search systems are changing constantly; just look at the recent updates to Compendex, Inspec, and PatBase.  How can you stay updated on the latest changes to both free and subscription search systems  for patent and non-patent literature?  Here at Intellogist, we have to constantly check a number of blogs and websites so that we can add the most recent system changes to the “Major Recent Updates” sections of our Intellogist Reports.  We also have to learn about the newest free and subscription search systems and databases to add to the growing list of Community Reports and resources listed on the Resource Finder.

Continue reading to learn about the best blogs and websites for finding the latest database and search system news!

Continue reading

Custom Fields in Patent Search Systems

[tweetmeme source=”Intellogist” only_single=false]

It can be a big struggle for corporate IP departments to sort and label all of their patent data. Between granted patent holdings, applications in-process, and pre-application invention disclosures, there’s a lot of internal tracking going on. Add to this the process of monitoring technology areas by classification, keeping tabs on key competitor patent filings, and compiling prior art databases for defending or attacking patent lawsuits…well you can see how the data can runneth over. If we limit our focus in this post to discussing patent search systems, we run into a couple of dilemmas immediately: inconsistent data fields ranging over an array of patent documents and the even larger issue of trying to combine data fields from multiple search systems with different formats altogether.

What’s the solution to this cataloging problem? Although there is no one solution, an emerging solution in the patent information field is the addition of custom fields. Custom fields are a way that patent records can be annotated, collaborated on, searched, and tracked–all within a patent search system.

Read on to find out some specific advantages of a custom field system, see how Thomson Innovation has implemented this feature, and what competitors will also offer this feature!

Continue reading

Are your chemical structure searches catching Markush claims?

[tweetmeme source=”Intellogist” only_single=false]

There are only a few commercial information providers that can cope with the challenge of querying the chemical information disclosed in Markush structure claims in patents.   If you’re not familiar with Markush patent claims,  they are patent claims which describe generic patent structures that could include many different interchangeable parts.  These complex patent claims can disclose hundreds of different potential chemical compounds by describing them in generic ways.  For an example, see the chemical structure searching section of our Best Practices wiki article on Chemistry and Pharmaceuticals Searching.

Some chemical information companies have been interested in creating registries of known chemical substances that exist anywhere (not just in patent art).  For example, the Chemical Abstracts Service has a well-known file of chemical substances called CAS REGISTRY, and the ChemSpider database is a newer service which aggregates publicly available chemical data from the web into a single repository.  But searching Markush claims is not just a matter of querying a database of known structures.  To conduct a successful Markush search, a search engine must be able to search through the patent claim language and understand all the possible compounds that may be covered by structures described in  generic chemical terms.   For example, how would you teach a computer to understand that a patent which claims a compound substituted by “an alkyl, an alkoxy, hydroxy, or amino,” is a good match for the specific chemical structure you drew as a query?

Continue reading

Are you catching reassigned US patents in your search?

[tweetmeme source=”Intellogist” only_single=false]

Update: This post has been edited to reflect that PatBase is jointly operated by Minesoft and RWS Group.

Experienced patent searchers know that searching for patent databases by company name is hard – and I mean really hard.  A company which owns a patent is called the patent “assignee” in the US.  Take a look at our assignee best practices wiki article over on the main Intellogist site to get an overview of some of the obstacles that can trip you up during this kind of search.

One thing that makes patent owner searching so difficult is simply that patents change hands, and when they do, the information published on the patent face is no longer correct.   Another difficulty is that these types of transactions are not always on record at the USPTO.  However, the USPTO does keep a US patent assignment database of all the transactions that they *have* been notified about.   And fortunately, patent search vendors can update their electronic databases with the new assignment information.  (by the way, as far as I know, US reassignment data is the only reassignment data that gets collected and added into commercial patent search products on a regular basis.)

Here is a quick summary of what some major commercial providers do with US reassignment data:

Continue reading

Warning: your electronic patent search databases have gaps!

[tweetmeme source=”Intellogist” only_single=false]

UPDATE: For a further enlightening discussion of the gaps in the USPTO full text database, please see the comment section of this post (click the word “Comments” where it appears at the very end of this post).

Recently, a message came over Carl Oppedahl’s PAIR discussion list highlighting a mysterious gap in the USPTO’s online patent database: data seemed to be missing for patent numbers between 6,363,527 and 6,412,112.

Rick Neifeld, of Neifeld IP Law, responded that his 1999 survey into the PTO’s data revealed many errors in the USPTO’s data, as many of us have probably suspected for some time.  Rick’s description of these errors is very interesting:

The dirt consisted of things as minor as numerous misspellings of assignee names, or HTML pages non compliant with HTML standards, to HTML text that could not be deconstructed into component sections due to HTML formatting errors, assignment records that were combined, corrupt, unreadable.

I absolutely expect our current crop of electronic patent database to contain massive numbers of errors. We have to expect this, if only because of the sheer amount of information involved.   Another reason might be that the economic model of patent data production does not really encourage the national patent offices to maintain high quality electronic patent data. There are millions and millions of patent documents pouring out of government-run institutions (without a profit motive for perfection), and errors are bound to be rampant.

Continue reading