An Intellectual Property Search Engine
A white paper by Intellectual Property Exchange
Last Updated: May 2010
IPEXL began with the inspirational advice from the well renowned Professor Hang Chang Chieh, the chairman of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS). His encouragement in the realm of intellectual property gave birth to the company in 2003.
IPEXL has been contracted by Intellectual Property Office of Singapore to design, develop and operate the SurfIP turn-key project since 2005 based on its own meta-search engine technologies (version 1.0). SurfIP is a revolutionary free service portal where inventors, investors, agents, attorneys, researchers and business users no longer need to remember obscure syntax or pay high costs for searching worldwide IP information.
IPEXL provides free online patent, trademark and design search services and is used by inventors, investors and agents from over 180 countries. When you visit www.IPEXL.com or www.SurfIP.com, you will be able to find IP information from WIPO, EPO, OHIM, Madrid Protocol, Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK, the US and Vietnam.
IPEXL currently provides patent metadata from 11 countries / organizations worldwide. The below table illustrates the patent coverage for each data sources available in IPEXL free patent search:
Detailed coverage for each source is described on the following page:
IPEXL.com collects, cleans and maintains IP records in multiple languages. IPEXL’s custom built engine unifies the IP metadata in Unicode format; which means users can enter key words in any specific language to make the search.
Besides supporting multilingual keyword searches, IPEXL.com offers its user interface in English, Chinese and Japanese. Users can click the language selector, as circled in red in the screenshot above.
An example of a Chinese language page is given as such:
Like other popular search engines, IPEXL.com offers both simple search and advanced search.
For simple search, IPEXL.com searches for all fields by default; with advanced search, the system uses the search criteria given by users.
While users enter their key words, the search suggestion feature quickly provides examples of potential complete key words and lists the estimated number of result hits respectively.
At the point of search, the related search feature quickly searches the International Patent Classification (IPC) definition database, and gives a list of relevant IPC codes as circled in red in the screenshot above. Users may click on any link in the list to start an IPC code search.
IPEXL.com’s data indexing extends to IP metadata such as fields like: title, abstract, application date, publication date, priority date, et cetera.
After viewing the metadata, IPEXL.com points the user in the right direction to view the extended information, such as claims and full text, at the respective patent office. For convenience, IPEXL.com provides PDF download link(s) in the patent details page.
Searching for relevant patents can be a time consuming process. Sorting is a must-have feature to make the search more efficiently. As circled in red in the Screenshot above, IPEXL.com provides four kinds of sorting. A brief explanation of IPEXL.com’s sorting features is:
• Reference: Sorts the results by number of world wide patent references, in descending order, or the higher the number of references the patent has, the higher the position within the result hits list.
• Rank: Sorts by IPEXL’s proprietary patent rank value, in descending order.
• Relevance: Sorts by relevance to the search criteria entered by the user, in descending order. The closer to the search criteria given, the higher the position within the result hits list.
• Newest: Sort by patents’ publication dates, in descending order. The newer the publication date, the higher the position within the result hits list.
Although IPEXL.com provides four kinds of sorting, we recognize that it can be convenient for users to have their search results in Excel document so they can sort by fields and make use of other Excel functionalities for offline processing and storage of information.
IPEXL.com allows users to download selected patents online. The below are the steps to download after the search result is there:
• Patent Selection: As circled in red in Screenshot above, at the top left of the search results is a large yellow star, which can be clicked by users to select all patents on the current result page. The number adjacent to the star informs the user of how many patents they have selected.
If users prefer only to select only a few patents, they may do so by clicking on the white star at the left of the specific patent. The number of selected patents as shown in the red circle would be updated right after clicking.
After selecting patents on the current page, users can move to the next page or conduct a new search. The previous selection(s) made will stay saved so that users can add more patents into their selection later on.
• Excel Document Download: To download the selected patents as an Excel document, users can click on the Excel icon as shown in the red circle above. A File “Save As” dialog will appear in the Internet Explorer browser. Once the Excel icon has been clicked, the selection pool will be cleared, so users can start a new collection.
RSS Tracking is a feature of the IPEXL.com web site that enables users to track the results of their specific search via their RSS reader. This enables the user to be notified of new patents rather than searching daily. Adjacent is a screenshot of technologies being tracked by means of RSS in the popular and free FeedDemon RSS reader:
The red highlights above, as displayed in IPEXL.com’s search result page, the number of worldwide patent references.
The reference numbers are retrieved based on data from USPTO and EPO records.
As circled in red, on IPEXL.com’s patent details page, if the patent is referenced by other patents, the first 10 of those patents will be listed.
The IPEXL.com web site has accumulated metadata of more than 50 million patents globally. The IPEXL patent rank is our newly implemented quantitative patent ranking solution.
The rank algorithm takes into consideration a few relevant elements, such as, but not limited to, the following:
• Patent References • Patent Litigation Cases • Patent Life Cycle • Patent Legal Status • Patent Classifications
The IPEXL Directory is, in essence, taxonomy of predefined search criteria to assist users search for keywords. It can be used to help use to monitor ongoing trends for each industry.
An invention family is referred to the same invention registered as patent in multiple jurisdictions. The invention family is valuable information to know, as it indicates how many markets the owner of the invention intends to protect their invention in. It also suggests how much financial resources have been spent on the invention which in turn can indicate whether there is a defensive or proactive strategy being employed on the invention.
An example tutorial on how to find out the patent group belonging to an invention family, via IPEXL.com site can be found on the following page:
IPEXL offers the following products and services:
IPEXL Company Profile Online http://www.ipexl.com/company_profile.html
IPEXL Search Engine http://www.ipexl.com
About SurfIP.gov.sg http://www.surfip.gov.sg/p24/abt-us.htm
SurfIP.gov.sg Search Engine http://www.surfip.gov.sg
SurfIP.com Portal http://www.surfip.com