Report:Delphion/Other Features

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DWPI on Delphion is no longer available, as of March 31, 2012. DWPI data is available on the Thomson Innovation platform.

Other Features

This section discusses features of the system that are not discussed elsewhere in the article. It also highlighting unusual or unique features of the system.

Derwent Titles

In Delphion, any patent document with a corresponding Derwent record will be displayed showing the Derwent Title from the integrated (full text) record view. The Derwent title may also be optionally shown for free on the hit list. This free display is a benefit of Delphion’s hosting the Derwent World Patent Index file, and this benefit cannot be found in any comparable subscription search engine. Because Derwent titles present concise summaries of the invention disclosed by the record, displaying these titles for free means that users who wish to scan titles will be able to do so using the value-added data at no additional charge. However, because of Delphion’s display limitations, this can only be done for the first 500 records in a hit list.

Corporate Tree

The corporate tree feature enhances assignee searching in US, EP and WO databases. By using corporate data from 1790 Analytics, Delphion has included a database of corporate hierarchies into its search form, allowing users to search for company information and discover subsidiary names. This feature allows the user to browse company relationships, and then to select any and all assignee names from the corporate tree feature to query the patent collections. With this feature, users can be more confident that they are searching for the entire IP portfolio represented by IP holdings of each and every branch of a corporate entity.

The corporate tree function can be found next to the assignee search field on the Advanced search form.

The Corporate Tree link.

Selecting the Corporate Tree link will open a new dialog window. There are two options for the name search: “Original Assignee,” and “Hierarchy.” Original Assignee will display the standardized assignee name assigned to the company by the USPTO, for use with US patents and published applications. Performing a Hierarchy search will display a corporate hierarchy with standard, official names that can be used with confidence in US, EP and PCT assignee searches. Below is an example of a hierarchy search performed on the company name “Sony.”

An example of a hierarchy search, with standardized names shown and third-tier name variations collapsed.

Weighting Features

Delphion is one of the few patent subscription search databases to offer a ranking feature when displaying search results. For further information about this feature, see Weighting and Ranking Features.


Another unique feature offered by Delphion is the clustering feature, which is a keyword analysis feature that groups references together based on shared terms. A graphical representation of the results can then be displayed. For a complete description of the Clustering feature, see Analyzing Results.

Citation Link

Delphion offers a unique graphical application for displaying and analyzing relationships between US citation data. For more information, see Viewing Patent Citations.


Delphion partners with the licensing service. To inquire directly about licensing opportunities after viewing a patent, users can select the Yet2 icon to be directed to more information about licensing the technology.

The Y icon opens a new window with licensing information.'’s web page. Non-users can request to be contacted regarding licensing opportunities.

Non-Patent Literature Search Features

The non-patent literature collections in Delphion cannot be combined with patent search results, saved, analyzed, or even ordered in the same manner that patent references can be manipulated through the system. Therefore, a discussion of their search interfaces will remain separate from the patent search interface functionality discussed earlier in this article.

IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin (TDB)

As discussed in the related data coverage section, the IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin was a journal of defensive publications produced by IBM from 1958-1998. Although it is covered along with other defensive publications in the database, Delphion hosts its own electronic text versions of the documents, often without including the original images, as does.

To search the TDB, users must select the “Non-patent Prior Art” link from the left menu that is always present on the search pages. The non-patent interface loads with search forms for both and the TDB both on the same page. To query the Delphion’s internal TDB files, users must use the simple keyword input field provided.

The IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin on Delphion is searched using this input box on the Non-patent Prior Art search page.

The system will also allow browsing by volume number of the original journal. This method allows users to choose a particular volume by the month it was first published.

Choosing an issue of the Technical Disclosure Bulletin by publication month/year is done through this interface.

One issue with the TDB collection on Delphion is that the original document images are not available. In the case of some documents which refer to drawings in the specification, this can result in a loss of clarity for the inventive concept. The figure below shows an example of a disclosure without a necessary accompanying figure. By contrast, the defensive publication database, which also contains the technical disclosure bulletins, does contain the complete image for many of the documents in its collection. The two figures below highlight the difference in a Delphion record (free with Delphion subscription) vs. an record (separate subscription required).

A Technical Disclosure Bulletin article without a necessary figure.

An version of the same Technical Disclosure Bulletin, with image.

As discussed in the data coverage section, is also a repository of defensive publications, which has coverage encompassing the IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin, but which also branches out to cover a wide range of defensive publications from many industries.

This collection may be searched through a portal offered by Delphion. To access the collection, as with the TDB, users must first select the “the “Non-patent Prior Art” link from Delphion’s left menu.

The search interface allows limiters such as publication date, publication country, publication ID, and/or keyword searches in various text fields.

As can be seen in the figure above,’s search interface is much more detailed and flexible than the TDB’s interface (which has only a single keyword search box). The interface offers retrieval by the following parameters in the drop-down menus:

-All Sections
- Document Text
-“Any Related Persons”
-Related Patent IDs
-Related Patent Application IDs

A user may choose up to three of the fields above, and connect them with Boolean operators AND, NOT, or OR. In addition, the search may be limited by any of the following parameters:

-Publication Date (date range allowed)
-Publication Country

Finally, searching may also be performed by the specific publication ID, if known.

An option on the search interface allows users to choose how many results they would like to view, from 20 to 200. After the search, however, there is a limit on how many records may be viewed from the hit list: only the first hit list page of results (up to 200 documents) may be displayed. Although the hit list page has text saying that only up to 5 records may be displayed, our testers had no trouble reviewing the entire hit list.

The Delphion hit list of records. Only up to 200 search results may be displayed.

In addition to the hit list limitations, when viewing the individual records, there is a display limit of only the first 300 characters from the document. A link at the bottom of the record promises to navigate the user to the full document; however, in order to see the full document text and abstract, users are required to have a separate subscription to The figures below contrast Delphion’s record display with what is available through the portal with a separate subscription.

An record on Delphion. Selecting the link “full document view” will open the website, where a username and password will be required.

The same record, viewed on the site with a separate subscription. (Even with a subscription, there is usually an additional charge to download the complete original document from the site.) records are ranked according to relevance to the search query when displayed in the Delphion hit list.

Industry Standards/TechStreet

Delphion’s datafiles do not actually contain any industry standard content. However, the system does offer a search portal into Thomson’s TechStreet product, a collection of industry specifications and standards compiled from over 350 standards-developing organizations. To view the technology categories and publishers covered by TechStreet, see the TechStreet Industry Standards data coverage section.

Searching TechStreet via Delphion is done by clicking the “Industry Standards” link on the left menu. Searching can be done by inputting a keyword, title, ISBN number, or document ID into the search field.

The TechStreet search portal queries the external site for industry standards and specifications.

Because Delphion really just hosts a portal to search the TechStreet website, a similar search could be conducted at TechStreet without requiring a subscription. To view the results of the search, users must purchase the document(s) of interest, and prices may vary.

The results of a Delphion Techstreet search are displayed in a separate TechStreet window. Prices vary by document.
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