|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.|
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.
Surf IP has been designed as a simple search tool to congregate data from the major patent authorities such as the USPTO, WIPO, and the EPO, as well as Canada and many of the Asian patent offices. The learning curve is low thanks to five easy-to-use search forms that allow users to quickly search those databases and receive results ranked according to relevance.
Surf IP struggles with viewing results. Clicking on a result links directly to the publishing authority's viewer. Users cannot use the interface to view snippets of the results, such as bibliographic information, a representative image, or even an abstract, preventing the efficient reviewing of search results. Saving results and search history features, while available, are designed in a minimalist fashion. The lack of a secure connection makes performing confidential searches a potential risk.
Overall, the major advantages of Surf IP are that it is easy to use, and has access to a large number of databases, especially Asian collections. These features are especially notable because the tool is free. In addition, saving individual documents and search histories is an easy task once a user login ID is created. Viewing results remains cumbersome, even compared to other free sites.