Tuesday, 28th September 2010
DocuTicker editors contribute brief articles
to FUMSI on conducting research with grey literature - reports from government
agencies, think tanks, research institutes and public interest organisations.
In my work as a contributing editor for DocuTicker, I research publicly available reports on a number of global topics. Here are some of my favourite resources for Patent Research:
are both indicators of inventiveness and, to some degree, pointers
towards the future. Though many will never be physically realised,
those that are can become the kind of product which for many people
are unimaginable to live without. The iPhone
is a prominent recent example, and the lawsuits
that have ensued are indicative of what can be at stake when
inventiveness meets commercial success, and those who feel they have
contributed to that success believe they are not receiving their due.
In a globalised market, the stakes for not protecting one's work
are higher than ever.
an overview of the whole process of patent research and the functions
of patents, the database company Dialog have produced an instructive
4-part course, "Developing Patent Research Expertise", available
as separate PDFs:
these publications are slanted towards the use of Dialog databases
and the mechanics of the US patent system, nonetheless they all
contain a good deal of information of general application, especially
in their introductory sections.
British Library's Business and IP
Centre can be useful both to would-be inventors and patent
researchers. Its section Protecting
Your Ideas offers PDF guides to the whole process of patenting,
notably the ‘Inventing'
guide (PDF), along with e-courses and a Business
registration ascends through a national and international hierarchy.
In the case of a UK inventor, this is from the Intellectual
Property Office (IPO), through the European
Patent Organisation (EPO) up to the World
Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
of these have their search facilities relative to their respective
This last searches International Patent Applications, a form of
patent based on the Patent Cooperation Treaty which is valid in
multiple countries rather than being specific to one.
is revealing that, with both IPO and EPO, there are several links
that lead on to international information, again emphasising how
inventors are encouraged to both acknowledge and to look beyond
national boundaries. So, for example, EPO provides a Europewide
directory of PATLIB centres, i.e. national patent offices and
regional information centres. This is complemented by its chief
search facility esp@cenet,
which allows searches by country or internationally. At the bottom
of the esp@cenet page there is also access to the following
the case of WIPO, besides the International Patent Applications
search already mentioned, its Patentscope
additionally includes documents from the African Regional
Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO) and a range of individual
countries , e.g. Cuba, Israel, Mexico.
patent applications and developments can be a way of keeping tabs on
competitors as much as being a window onto the future. Either way,
awareness of the latest news is important, and all three agencies
offer relevant publications. The IPO produces Patents
Journal, while the EPO publishes European
Patent Bulletin, and WIPO its PCT
Newsletter. All the sites provide shorter news articles as well.
are complemented by CNET, a
regularly updated technology site which, by searching via its News
tab for patent-related stories, will yield many up to date articles.
piece has a largely Western perspective, but it would be remiss not
to also mention the search facilities of the Japan
Patent Office (JPO). According to the European
Patent Office, ‘More than half
the patent applications filed worldwide every year are written in
Japanese, Chinese or Korean.‘ Besides providing awareness of
developments in Japan, the links from the JPO's Industrial
Property Digital Library are very helpful, putting in one place
links to the patent offices of countries like China and Korea as well
as such organisations as WIPO and EPO.
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