[email protected] URL: http://www.espacenet.com/. Searchable bibliographic records and document images for European patent applications; national patents from EPO member countries; international patents comprising PCT minimum documentation collection. National patent collections are provided in separate databases by each EPO member country in its own language and contain the most recent two years of patent publications or more.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. URL: http://www.uspto. gov. Information about U.S. patents and patent law. Free searchable databases: U.S. patents and published applications, full text from 1996 and images from 1836; browsable Official Gazette; U.S. patent assignment records; Patent Application
Information Retrieval (PAIR) status of pending U.S. published applications and granted U.S. patents; and U.S. trademarks.
European Patent Register. URL: http://www.epoline.org/. Patent status records for European patents and PCT applications designating the EPO. Also includes online patent application filing and inspection capabilities.
• PCT Electronic Gazette. Full text searchable file of weekly issues with document images.
• Madrid Express. International trademarks under the Madrid Agreement.
• Hague Express. International design registrations under the Hague Agreement. Registrations under the Lisbon System for the International Registration of Appellations of Origin, URL: http://www.wipo.int/ipdl/ en/search/lisbon/search-struct.jsp.
Japan Patent Office. URL: http://www.jpo.go.jp/. Information in English and Japanese about Japanese patent, design, and trademark law and searchable databases in Japanese and English. The Patent and Utility Model Gazette, Patent Abstracts of Japan, and Trademark databases are in English. Status information and document copies are displayable and machine translations can be generated for Japanese patent applications published since 1993.
Singapore Patent Office SurflP. URL: http://www.surfip.gov.sg. A portal to the free Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, WIPO, U.K., EPO, U.S., and Canadian patent databases, produced by the respective patent offices.
European Community Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market. URL: http://oami.eu.int/en/design/bull.htm. Includes the free Community Trademarks Database and Community Designs Database.
These listed patent office databases are by no means the only ones available. There are many Web sites that contain links to patent offices and commercial patent information resources. Perhaps the best collection of links, and the least likely to disappear in the near future, is that of the EPO.
EPO—Patent Information on the Internet. URL: http://www. european-patent-office.org/online/index.htm. An extensive collection of links to patent offices around the world, patent databases, patent information providers, patent laws and regulations, patent information organizations, and lists of lists. Information about the content of Internet databases and the commercially available INPADOC database. Includes the EPO's gateway to the [email protected] database.
The British Library. London In addition to a large collection of intellectual property publications and a knowledgeable staff, the British Library has an informative website with links to many other intellectual property websites at http://www. bl.uk/collections/patents. html.
IP Menu. Phillips Ormonde and Fitzpatrick, Melbourne. URL: http://www.ipmenu.com/. Provided free of charge by a prominent Australian intellectual property law firm, this site is an extensive collection of links to intellectual property websites, including patent offices around the world, patent databases, patent information providers, patent laws and regulations, patent information organizations, design registration resources, domain name resources, libraries, and more. In addition, the site carries IP related news and press releases.
Patent office databases are not intended for large scale searching in a corporate setting, and the search and display software is generally slow and inefficient. Commercial databases are more efficient and institutional subscriptions can make patent data available on the desktops of everyone in an organization. Bibliographic and full text patent data is available over the Internet through the Delphion Intellectual Property Network, the Micropatent® PatentWeb, and the Aureka Online Service, all produced by Thomson Scientific. These services include software for graphic analysis and display of patent information and for storing queries and answer sets for further use and for sharing among work groups. Patent documents can be downloaded quickly in PDF format or ordered for electronic delivery.
The largest and most widely available bibliographic database is INPADOC, produced by the EPO and available on all of the major commercial search services. INPADOC has bibliographic data from most of the industrialized countries of the world and many of the less industrialized nations. Although INPADOC indexes each patent publication as a separate record, the search services have implemented modifications for transparently combining records with the same priority patent applications into patent families. INPADOC also has records for patent status changes for a smaller number of countries. In addition to pure INPADOC databases, INPADOC data is integrated into other database structures by some commercial vendors. On Questel-Orbit, INPADOC is a part of the PlusPat and FamPat databases and the subscription-based QPAT service; on Delphion, INPADOC data makes up part of the Integrated View. INPADOC data can be viewed in patent records on MicroPatent's PatentWeb.
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