|Report||Patent Coverage Map||Ratings||Comments|
|This search system report was created by the Intellogist Team and is available for viewing only. If you'd like to share your knowledge on Intellogist, please visit the Best Practices, Glossary, or Community Reports pages. If you are a registered user and would like to be notified of any substantial changes to this report, you may place a "watch" on the Revisions page, which is the last page listed on the table of contents. To learn more about using the Intellogist "watchlist," see the Watchlist Help page.|
The following section contains subjective comments about the system that represent our editor's opinions, and should not be viewed as fact. Editor's opinions include positive and negative judgments about the product written in consideration of wider context, including related products and the industry at large. Further subjective information is presented in clearly labeled "Editor's Notes" throughout the report.
MicroPatent’s PatentWeb search service is made up of two databases that, when used together, are intended to constitute a worldwide patent collection: MPI-INPADOC Plus (a bibliographic database), and PatSearch FullText. Because subscriptions to MPI-INPADOC are being phased out and the product is no longer a viable offering, this article will treat the coverage and features of the PatSearch FullText system.
Although MicroPatent itself was providing electronic patent documents as early as 1989, it first offered online data searching in 1996. The PatSearch FullText service is one of the older searchable full text patent collections on the web. The service provides full text searching capabilities in the United States (US), European Patent Office (EP), Patent Cooperation Treaty (WO/PCT), Germany (DE), United Kingdom (GB) and France (FR) full text patent collections and Japan (JP) patent abstracts, and includes front page images, with at least partial coverage for most collections. MicroPatent’s German full text collection contains utility models (DE-U) and translations (DE-T) as well as original German applications and patents; in addition, the system is one of the few to boast a searchable full text collection of pre-1970 US patents.
MicroPatent once offered a powerful command line interface, designed for the advanced searcher; however, because it was not deemed commercially sustainable, it is no longer a product offering. Despite that loss, the system’s web-based search interface is designed for professional patents searchers and novices alike. All searches are performed through a single, well designed search form, which both supports complex search queries, and accommodates beginners.
MicroPatent also boasts flexible search construction and history features. The system has a variety of powerful search tools in its arsenal, like unlimited left-hand truncation and versatile proximity commands; the system’s operators even include those that recognize sentences and paragraphs. After queries are created, they can be expertly combined, edited and archived through professional-grade search history management features.
Some of MicroPatent’s less impressive traits are the cumbersome patent citation search features, limited statistical analysis features, slow load times, and lack of any advanced highlighting capabilities; in these areas, the system lags behind its competitors. Some users also believe that tagging and saving references of interest is a risky proposition in MicroPatent, due to unexpected timeouts and data loss.
Thomson Reuters has recently introduced a new product, Thomson Innovation, which it expects to act as a replacement to MicroPatent PatentWeb and its sister search service, Delphion. However, Thomson Reuters will keep these older products active for its current subscribers. Despite its disadvantages, MicroPatent remains an important full text search provider to many patent professionals.