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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.
PatBase is produced by a collaboration between Minesoft Ltd, and RWS Group. Minesoft is based in the UK with offices in Germany and the US and international representation in Japan, South America, Hungary, Israel, Italy, India, Korea, and Taiwan. RWS Group is based in England, with satellite offices in Europe, North America, Japan and China.
Although it has participated in the construction of the PatBase search service, RWS has its roots as a translation service, with about 70% of sales made up of patent translations in 2011. In fact, its Japanese and Chinese offices are described as centers where customers can “translate and file” patent documents through a single service. The Chinese office is the newest, and was described in 2006 as still “embryonic,” but as of September 2011, Chinese business has delivered a 52% increase in profits since the previous year. The company acquired Eclipse Translations service in 2005. Other recent acquisitions of RWS Group include the acquisitions of Communicare Limited in 2009 and the German technical translations provider Document Service Center Technische Uebersetzungen und Software-Lokalisierung GmbH ("DSC") in 2008.
Minesoft was founded in 1996 as a patent information service company, and its other product offerings include alerting and monitoring services, document delivery services, a patent family /legal status search portal, a free FDA drug data search portal, and a free searchable trademark database. The two partners announced their agreement to develop the PatBase system in May 2003.
Although the PatBase service is a relatively new offering in the patent information industry, the database has been operational since November 2003, where it was launched at a PIUG (Patent Information User Group) convention. The database started out relying upon publicly available data sources like as the EPO’s Open Patent Services (OPS) server, and was produced by downloading the data and constructing it into aggregated patent family records. Version 2 of the service, including full text collections of United States (US), European Patent Office (EP), Patent Cooperation Treaty (WO/PCT) and United Kingdom (GB) patents went commercially live in 2004, early enough to gain a description in Stephen R. Adams’ seminal book “Information Sources in Patents.” 
Because the database is still relatively young, users can count on the developers to continue working on expansions and updates to their product. PatBase has been profitable for the companies involved: a September 2011 report stated that RWS Group had achieved 12% growth in subscription revenues for PatBase in the period. However, according to the same online earnings report, PatBase still made up only 12% of RWS’s overall earnings in 2011.
Minesoft consistently exhibits at the annual PIUG convention, and their representatives monitor the PIUG list, so it is apparent that the company wishes to stay current and anticipate the needs of its consumers.
- ↑ "Contact Us." Mineseoft website, http://minesoft.com/contact_us.php. Accessed December 14, 2011.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "RWS Holdings plc: Preliminary results for the year ended 30 September 2011." Digital Look website, http://www.digitallook.com/news/rns/8462720-24785/RWS-Final_Results_html. Accessed December 14, 2011.
- ↑ "RWS Group - helping the patent process in China." RWS Group website, http://www.rws.com/EN/Press-Releases-/-Articles.html#a15. Accessed December 14, 2011.
- ↑ "£2.1m Acquisition of CommuniCare Limited." RWS Group website, http://www.rws.com/EN/Press-Releases-/-Articles.html#a17. Accessed December 14, 2011.
- ↑ "RWS Holdings plc acquires German technical translations provider – DSC." RWS Group website, http://www.rws.com/EN/Press-Releases-/-Articles.html#a16. Accessed December 14, 2011.
- ↑ Adams, Stephen R. Information Sources in Patents. Munich: KG Saur, 2006.