Report:Surf-IP/Customer Support/Online Help Features
|Report||Patent Coverage Map||Ratings||Comments|
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|The Surf-IP search platform ceases operation as of September 30, 2011. A list of websites of other IP offices where users can conduct patent, trademark, and design searches will be posted by IPOS after Surf-IP ceases operations.|
Online Help Features
Surf IP provides an online help guide covering every feature of the search engine. The help guide appears infrequently updated; sections often reference dates several years in the past. The help guide is divided into eight sections, and can be accessed without creating a login ID.
- 1) FAQ – provides background and frequently asked questions about Surf IP
- 2) General – provides information on data coverage, search operators, and results presentation
- 3) Patent Search – provides more detailed information on data coverage for each search form
- 4) Trademark Search – provides information on Trademark searches
- 5) Design Search – provides information on Design searches
- 6) Account Management – shows the user how to set up an account
- 7) Search Management Tools – describes how to use the Search Management Tools
- 8) Surf IP User Guides/Tour – provides step-by-step instructions, with screenshots, for using different features in Surf IP
The help guide is extremely thorough and covers the usage of every feature in detail. Still, the data coverage section could be improved by including dates for each authority’s patent coverage. Because Surf IP links directly to the authority’s website, it can be assumed that whatever is available on the authority’s website is also available on Surf IP. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to verify the coverage and listing this information in the help guide would be a quick fix.