Without insight, innovation is essentially impossible. When you’re trying to innovate within your own company, insight into your competitors’ IP and patents can prove invaluable.
Getting reliable patent information can be challenging for most people. A few resources are difficult to navigate and provide information that is difficult to understand; others do not provide comprehensive enough patent information to conduct a true analysis of a patent.
Performing patent research is always beneficial, whether you are seeking to spur innovation, boost competitive power, or simply learn what your competitors are up to.
Here are a few different patent search websites that can be used to gather patent information.
Search the complete texts of patents from around the world with Google Patents, including 7 million patents in the U.S. alone. Google Patents is a good option for business owners who don’t have the budget to hire a patent search firm.
Several impressive filters are available in Google Patents’ Advanced Search, especially for those who are familiar with Google’s database and features. There are features such as the inventor’s name, the patent office, the filing status, and the type of patent.
It also functions and looks like Google’s standard search engine. This patent database can be an easy place to start patent research for those familiar with Google’s search engine.
The Google patent database, however, has some drawbacks as well. Getting the most accurate and useful search results can be challenging for those unfamiliar with Boolean search operators. The best results can be obtained by understanding how Google Patents’ search engine works.
In addition to database errors, Google Patents has also been criticized for not showing some patents when users search for them specifically. In terms of patent results, Google Patents casts the widest net, but the database needs to be supplemented with research from another database to get the full picture.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Millions of U.S. patents are available online through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which remains a go-to source for inventors and businesses.
The USPTO is the source of all U.S. patents, but its website is difficult to navigate. Furthermore, it doesn’t return searches as quickly as many other databases, which may frustrate searchers who dislike waiting.
By allowing users to choose from pre-selected categories or to search patents from top companies around the world, FreshPatents organizes and funnels users’ patent searches.
FreshPatents’ homepage is visually appealing, which you won’t find when searching Google Patents or the USPTO. Discover patents in gaming, cosmetics, smartphones, and social networks.
FreshPatents’ advantage lies in its ability to provide patent applications before they are approved or denied by the USPTO.
While FreshPatents is perhaps easier to navigate than Google Patents or the USPTO database, it still has its shortcomings. There is very little visual media related to each patent, so you’ll need to supplement your patent search with searches on other search engines to get the most in-depth view of the patent information.
Patent Searches: Important Things to Consider
Even if you become well-versed in multiple patent search databases, memorizing each search engine’s unique features, requirements and loopholes, it might still be hard to analyze the information for relevance to your own company.
Each of these sites functions essentially the same when performing patent research on them. A lot of information is provided on individual patents, but few show the entire patent family or the entire patent journey.
IPVision’s patent mapping tool, see-the-forest.com, provides a much more comprehensive picture of patents, including “parent” patents and “child” patents, as well as relevant “prior art” citations. Additionally, it doesn’t just give you the information in cumbersome text. To communicate the patent family more comprehensibly, See-the-forest.com uses color-coded graphs, images, and graphics. Using data from the European Patent Office/Espace system, the tool also provides information on a patent’s International Patent Family.
It saves you, the searcher, considerable amounts of time in research, confusion, and futile database searches because you can get deeper, more analytical information about patents.
With IPVision’s patent search and analysis software, you can register for a free account at see-the-forest.com.
You will find IPVision Advantage invaluable if you are looking for even more robust patent insights.
We can provide you with custom industry studies that will provide you with top-notch insight into your competitors’ technology and developments.
With IPVision Advantage, you can keep up with the latest developments and trends in your industry through the easy-to-navigate dashboard.
Our Advantage dashboard can be demonstrated for free by contacting IPVision today.