There is always a debate around paid and free databases.It is essential to look at advantages which paid patent search databases over free databases
Benefits of paid patent search databases
Advantages of paid databases outnumber the benefits of free databases. Here are some major pros of using paid databases.
Paid patent search databases provide patent information from a much higher number of Countries in comparison to free databases.
e.g. Questel Orbit provides coverage for 100+ countries, including complete patent documents for over 20 countries while free databases such as USPTO, Google Patents etc. provide coverage for one or very few countries. These paid patent search databases also provide English translated title, abstract and/or full text.
TIME SPENT ON SEARCH
Considering the difference in coverage mentioned above it is easy to do the math. Searching and analysing patents from a number of countries together through one paid database would be much quicker than using several free databases.
EASE OF CONDUCTING SEARCH
Patent Search strategy would usually be a combination of several keywords describing your invention, to be searched in different fields of a patent – title, abstract, claims etc. along with one or more classifications
Paid databases make it extremely easy to search in different fields together
Paid databases allow for much more complex search formulations as compared to your free tools – thereby making the search more effective
DATA RETRIEVAL AND ANALYSIS
Paid databases allow download search results obtained in a format which is easy to analyse e.g. as a list of patent in an excel sheet, a feature which is unavailable in free databases.
Easy to download vital information of all search results such as Patent Number, Title, Inventor(s), Classification, Abstract etc.
INTEGRATED ANALYSIS AND OTHER TOOLS –
Many paid databases have one or more additional tools to offer to aid in your search and decisions, for example:
Graphical representation of patent data – patent filings with time. Key inventors, Key Classifications etc.
Legal Status information – whether patent is pending, live or expired
- Automatic retrieval of references cited in selected patent documents
- Ability to save search results and analyse later at your leisure
- Receive alerts on new results for your searches
Thus in the longer run, advantages of paid patent search databases surpass the associated costs, particularly when important issues such as patentability, freedom to operate etc are in question.
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