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IFI CLAIMS® Patent Services has been in business since 1955, and since being acquired by Fairview Research in 2010, IFI CLAIMS has expanded its patent data offering by building on Fairview's Alexandria platform. Currently IFI CLAIMS products include:

  • CLAIMS Global Patent Database -- a global patent database distributed on the Amazon EC2 Cloud.
  • CLAIMS Direct -- a set of web services and APIs designed to allow users to integrate CLAIMS Global into modern information solutions.
  • KMX on CLAIMS Direct -- a joint product offering with Treparel Information Services providing a text mining and visualization solution supporting patent analytics, portfolio analysis, and technology landscaping.
  • Patent Intelligence and Technology Report -- an intelligence tool that provides snapshots of patent portfolios.
  • CLAIMS Classic -- US patent data curated with standardized and probable assignees, legal status, and chemical indexing and title enhancements.
  • Custom indexing and annotation -- manual, semi-automated, and automated indexing of scientific and technical documentation curated by domain experts.

IFI CLAIMS Global Patent Database & CLAIMS Direct web service

The IFI CLAIMS Global Patent Database is IFI's international patent collection, and it is normalized and curated. Key features include:[1]

  • Extended WIPO ST-36 based XML formatting across all issuing authorities
  • Worldwide coverage
  • Full Text
  • Classifications: IPC/IPCR/ECLA, ICO and national classifications
  • Legal Status
  • Patent Families
  • Patent Citations

The IFI CLAIMS Global Patent Database is delivered through the CLAIMS Direct web service, which includes consistently formatted data and a developer friendly API.[2]

Both CLAIMS Global and CLAIMS Direct are implemented on the Alexandria content platform developed by Fairview Research.

KMX on CLAIMS Direct

KMX on CLAIMS Direct is a joint product offering of Treparel Information Solutions. KMX is an advanced text mining and visualization tool that can be used for organizing and analyzing large sets of patent data. KMX is integrated with CLAIMS Direct, allowing the user to search the CLAIMS Global database and import large patent data sets for analysis, classification, and visualization.[3]

CLAIMS Classic

CLAIMS Classic is the IFI collection of data files which are based on United States (US) patent documents. These data files can be accessed through the IFI CLAIMS© Patent Services website, or more commonly through a number of providers such as Dialog, STN, and Questel-Orbit (including Qweb and QPAT). IFI Claims files include:

  • US granted patent and published application coverage
  • IPC to US classification concordance
  • US class revision information
  • Controlled vocabulary (special indexing for assignees, chemical terms, and subjects)
  • Legal status information
  • Citations on US patents

On STN, the IFI files include:[4]

  • IFI Comprehensive Database
  • IFI Current Patent Legal Status Database
  • IFI Patent Database
  • IFI Uniterm and U.S. Class Reference File
  • IFI Uniterm Database

On Dialog, the IFI files include:[5]

  • CLAIMS®/Citation (1790-1946)
  • CLAIMS®/Citation (1947-1970)
  • CLAIMS®/Citation (1971-present)
  • CLAIMS®/Compound Registry
  • CLAIMS®/Comprehensive
  • CLAIMS®/Current Patent Legal Status
  • CLAIMS®/Reference
  • CLAIMS®/U.S. Patents

On Questel-Orbit (including Qweb and QPAT), the IFI files include:[6]

  • CLAIMS® Current Patent Legal Status
  • CLAIMS® U.S. Patents Database
  • CLAIMS® Uniterm Database
  • CLAIMS® Comprehensive Database
  • CLAIMS® Registry

Some features of IFI Claims Patent Services site, such as IFI "Fragment Codes" and "Role Indicators" for chemical structure data, are only available for users subscribing directly to IFI Claims and are not available through access solely to any system (e.g. Dialog or Questel) that houses the various IFI files. Fragment Codes serve as a tagging system for Markush structures, similar to the system used in the Derwent World Patents Index file. Role Indicators identify functions of chemical substances, similar to indexing that is used in the CAplus file, produced by the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS).[7] Note that in April 2011, IFI suspended production indefinitely of the Fragment Codes and Role Indicators.

IFI Patent Intelligence was originally started as an industry collaboration and was one of the earliest electronic databases covering US patents.[8] It was owned by Wolters Kluwer before being acquired by Fairview Research in September 2010.

Major Recent Updates

January 2011

In January 2011, IFI CLAIMS® Patent Services updated the IFI CLAIMS®/U.S. Patents, Uniterm and CDB files, with updated assignee name changes, probable assignees, class code revision, and new indexing terms. New terms include energy and environmental concepts.

September 2010

In September 2010, IFI was acquired by Fairview Research. Fairview is owned by Mike Baycroft, an architect of the MicroPatent PatentWeb search system.[9]

November 2009

In November 2009, the IFI brand files were re-loaded on STN. According to the STN news bulletin, both display and content enhancements were made. Content enhancements include retroactively classifying the backfile data with new controlled vocabulary terms related to green technologies. The full announcement states:

Search and display enhancements in this reload include addition of the DISPLAY SCAN format to help evaluate usefulness of answer sets. Content enhancements include indexing for more than 70,000 additional published applications, indexing with new terms for various green technology areas such as biofuels and biodegradable polymers, back file posting for new indexing terms, and back file postings for many FDA Orange Book listed patents. [10]

Patent Coverage

CLAIMS Global Patent Database

The IFI CLAIMS Global Patent Database contains coverage for over 80 million patent records.[1] Detailed coverage can be found on the IFI website.

CLAIMS Classic

The IFI Claims group of data files features coverage of United States (US) patents dating:[7]

  • From 1950 for chemical patents
  • From 1963 for all utility patents
  • From 1976 for design and plant patents
  • From March 15, 2001 for pre-grant publications (applications)

Additionally, the IFI Claims group of data files features a complete collection of US patents from 1971 to 1974. This collection is notable because it includes 96,000 documents that were never made available electronically by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).[7] IFI asserts that these patents are "not found in USPTO online records or other files for that time period." [7]

According to the CAS database summary sheet for the IFI Claims file, coverage consists of "Front page and bibliographic data, abstracts and claims from U.S. patents."[11]

Update schedules vary for each of the specific IFI Claims files, but can range from twice-weekly updates for patent documents to quarterly updates for the chemical compound registry. Yearly reloads of these files are common.

Controlled Vocabulary

The IFI CLAIMS Classic group of data files offers controlled vocabulary used to index and tag individual patents. The following are the different types of controlled vocabulary used for chemical patents:

  • Uniterm – this controlled index is updated monthly with the Uniterm chemical indexing
  • CA references
  • Foreign chemical equivalents
  • CAS Registry numbers
  • General and compound numbers and terms
  • Fragmentation codes and terms
  • Roles

IFI CLAIMS also has assignee name standardization/correction as well as human-generated expanded patent titles.

Legal Status

Both CLAIMS Classic and CLAIMS Global contain comprehensive legal status coverage.

The IFI Current Patent Legal Status Database is a well known companion to the patent, classification, and controlled indexing coverage of the IFI Claims group of data files. This database provides information on the legal status of US patents, including:

  • Reassignments
  • Reexaminations
  • Extensions
  • Expirations
  • Reinstatements

Also included are records on "adverse decision in interference, disclaimer/dedication information, reexamination request, reissue request, reissued patents, and certificate of correction."[12]

Indexing, Database Creation, and Database Management

IFI offers services for any company looking to create and manage its own private in-house database. Services that IFI offers include:

  • Indexing documents using internal indexing
  • Indexing documents using IFI's chemical indexing
  • Database security

For more information see the IFI Claims site.

Contact Info

IFI CLAIMS® Patent Services
a division of Fairview Research
P.O. Box 1148
Madison, CT, 06443
Phone: (203) 779-5301
Fax: (203) 583-4521
E-mail: info@ificlaims.com


  1. 1.0 1.1 "CLAIMS® Global Patent Database." IFI CLAIMS website, http://ificlaims.com/index.php?page=products_data_global. Accessed March 5, 2012.
  2. "CLAIMS® DIRECT: Patent Web Service and API." IFI CLAIMS website, http://ificlaims.com/index.php?page=products_claims_direct. Accessed March 5, 2012.
  3. "KMX on CLAIMS® DIRECT." IFI CLAIMS website, http://ificlaims.com/index.php?page=products_kmx. Accessed March 5, 2012.
  4. "STN Database Summary Sheets." STN Website, http://www.cas.org/support/stngen/dbss/index.html. Accessed on March 6, 2012.
  5. "Bluesheets by Name." Dialog Website, http://library.dialog.com/bluesheets/html/blf.html. Accessed on March 6, 2012.
  6. "Questel Database Catalog." Questel Website, http://www.questel.com/en/customersupport/userdoc/docpdf/Databasecatalog.pdf. Accessed on March 6, 2012.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "CLAIMS® Classic Databases." IFI CLAIMS Website, http://ificlaims.com/index.php?page=product_data_classic. Accessed March 6, 2012.
  8. Adams,Stephen R.. Information Sources in Patents. 2 ed.. Munich: K G Sauer, 2006.
  9. Slaughter, Darlene. "IFI is acquired by Fairview Research." Posted September 20, 2010 to the PIUG wiki, http://wiki.piug.org/display/PIUG/2010/09/20/IFI+is+acquired+by+Fairview+Research. Accessed on September 20, 2010.
  10. "Annual Reload of IFI Databases." STN news update posted November 23, 2009. STN International website, http://bit.ly/zxwlsv. Accessed on December 03, 2009.
  11. "IFI Comprehensive Database Summary Sheet." February 2012. CAS Website, http://www.cas.org/ASSETS/514D78FBAF7D4D4E939589B6DA12F653/ificdb.pdf (link no longer available). Accessed March 5, 2012.
  12. "IFI Current Patent Legal Status Database Summary Sheet." November 2011. CAS Website, http://www.cas.org/ASSETS/0231C68D3B434FDFA6767DDE64E29EC2/ificls.pdf (link no longer available). Accessed March 6, 2012.

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