Patent Lens Update

Some exciting news about Patent Lens, one of my favourite patent databases…

Patent Lens now includes bibliographic data and full-text images for Australian A and B docs from 1998 to the present. As far as I can tell, this is about the same coverage as esp@cenet (although country code plus year searches are giving me some very odd results for pre-2002). Patent Lens now covers some 7 million patent documents, including US, European and WIPO.

In another very exciting development, it is now possible to search gene sequences using NCBI’s BLAST search software. This very cool and powerful tool allows users to search DNA and amino acid sequences in US patent documents. Definitely check it out. Biochemists and biotechnology researchers will love it.

Unfortunately, Patent Lens still doesn’t include IPC classifications, making it virtually impossible to do a focused search by subject matter. You can search IPC codes (and national classifications) against the front page text, but this approach is inaccurate and unreliable. Despite this shortcoming, Patent Lens is still one of the most useful and innovative open-source patent search tools on the web.

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One Response to Patent Lens Update

  1. Hi Michael,Thanks for your kind words about the Patent Lens. The team very much appreciates such feedback (what a surprise, they’re human!).Re: IPCs, we can very easily add them if you strongly feel they help. Our assessment is that ‘classification’ is a somewhat dated concept when one has full text, phrase, nearness and relevance built into a simple interface. After all, IPC assignment is usually done quickly with some fairly cursory readings, whereas a full-text word or phrase search can give robust outcomes.Still, if you think IPCs really matter, we can talk about throwing the switch and adding that in the drop down list under the STructured search?Anyway, please let us know other ideas you have and improvements you’d like to see. Our goal is to render the system completely transparent so that it can be used to the advantage of society.

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