Patent search is a complex process and needs a broader approach. Applicants have realized the importance of Non-patent literature resources along with patent database. Firstly, we outline some available patent search engine/database for patent search, such as:
- Google Patents (google.com/patents):
This is good for beginners because it supports natural language queries, as we use with the familiar Google Search engine.
U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) keeps organized records of all the published patents by its office. Hence, It is a good option if the patent(s) that you are looking for are filed in US. This database is not much intuitive and requires some practice.
The European Patent Office also provides a search engine that includes patents published by most of the European countries and also links to patents from many more countries throughout the world.
Applicants also look for non-patent literature. Non-patent literature is any literature or evidence that is not a patent. Non-patent literature resources are equally valid and provides similar benefits to patent prior art during prosecution, litigation, and re-examination proceedings. It may be understood that patent information may not always be used as source for scientific technical information. Also, information disclosed in non-patent literature does not always appear in patent documents.
For beginners, non-patent literature resources are easy to find. These documents provide support that can strengthen or invalidate claims of novelty, or may be useful for many IP strategies, from validity to clearance research.
Options for finding non-patent literature
Researching Non-patent literature is an important technique for an efficient patent search. They inform about` recent developments in the industry. It also display ideas with great potential
- Scientific journals and articles: Journals and articles are important resources as these include content published by experts in that industry. Such mediums may include details which disclose innovative concepts, even if the same has not been patented.
- Conference Proceedings: Same as journals and articles, these are also important as these include latest ideas that are prevalent in the industry, which are even more important as these are most likely to come across as new patent ideas and thus could be vital in patentability searches.
- Thesis Technical Reports: Thesis documents are a good representation of the contents for a very specific topic as it generally includes basic details about the same.
- Product manuals: Technical or instruction manuals of a product include details about the product that may not be available anywhere else. Therefore, such resources are vital to any patent search.
Some of the examples of internet resources for finding non-patent literature are meta-search engines; like
- Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.com)
- Science Direct (http://www.sciencedirect.com/)
- Entrez (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gquery/)
- ManualsLib (http://www.manualslib.com/)
- Citation Tracking
- Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
To sum up, patent literature and non-patent literature as two sources of information are neither exclusive nor inclusive, but rather complimentary for a in-depth patent search.
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