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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. Further subjective information is presented in clearly labeled "Editor's Notes" throughout the report.
TotalPatent was first developed in 2004 by patent data producer Univentio, and was then known as Patent Warehouse. Shortly after the product launch, LexisNexis purchased Univentio, and the product was removed from the market, fully re-designed, and launched as TotalPatent. As a product owned by parent company Reed Elsevier, TotalPatent leverages the vast store of electronic data produced by Univentio, and enjoys links with other tools owned by Elsevier, namely PatentOptimizer, the Directory of Corporate Affiliations (DCA), Scopus, Chisum on Patents, and CourtLink®. TotalPatent’s current interface was designed by one of the original developers of Thomson Reuters’ Delphion, and shares several parallel features with that system.
TotalPatent offers the largest source of full text patent collections in the industry with an expanded worldwide bibliographic collection featuring over 90 patent authorities, including 30 in full text. TotalPatent has improved its full-text collection to begin to match the full text Asian collections and full text English machine translation coverage provided by competitors like Thomson Innovation and PatBase. In 2010, TotalPatent added full-text coverage from Russia (RU), Soviet Union (SU), China (CN), EA (EurAsia), and IN (India), and the system also added WO non-Latin collections in English full-text machine translations in March 2012. The system is a bit stronger than other comparable patent search systems when it comes to South and Central American collections, offering some machine-translated bibliographic collections from these areas that are not available, or not available in machine translated English form, from other worldwide bibliographic sources, such as Espacenet.
The system does offer several notable features. The record viewing functionality is a definite positive, and includes features like a customizable split display pane, which allows users to browse any available full patent drawing sets and includes the ability to view full document PDF images without downloading or purchasing. Unfortunately, there are some downsides, including a lack of user-defined keyword highlighting, which keeps the interface from being competitive with feature-laden reviewing interfaces of competitors such as Thomson Innovation and PatBase. The system search features mimic those of Delphion, with simple and advanced web search forms that may also be used for command-language queries; unfortunately, the command language in TotalPatent is cumbersome and does not promote efficient query construction. A 500-document download limit may also prove frustrating to customers with bulk patent copy download needs. Other notable features include a host of unusual search operators, such as the ALLCAPS/CAPS/NOCAPS operators (which search based on the presence or absence of capital letters in keyword terms), and some variations on common operators, such as a “NOT within n words” (NOT W/n) proximity operator. Finally, the citation searching in the system is not advanced: it is based on a simple system of hyperlinking to the backward and forward cited documents.
A graphing feature offered by TotalPatent can be used on up to 20,000 results. Once a graph is generated, any portion of the graph may be selected and further analysis may then be performed on that sub-set. Users can now also compare up to three result sets through the Analytics screen, and the resulting chart will visualize which documents are unique to one result set or common to two or more result sets. A graphical citation mapping tool is also available in the system. However, unlike the tools in comparable search products, this feature cannot be used to investigate a single document’s citation relationships in depth; instead, it is a comparison tool that works on groups of 2-20 documents to identify the most heavily cited documents within a group.
The .CSV (Comma Separated Values) exporting feature was updated in the Fall of 2008. The feature now provides the user with a nicely formatted .CSV file that, when opened in Microsoft Excel, separates the values into individual columns.
The search history features of the service are generally good. Users can save queries directly into a designated saved search folder, and queries may be edited and combined from the saved searches page. Any search string not placed into a saved search file will be deleted after 72 hours. Combining queries is also possible. A major problem with the search history page is that it does not display the country collections that were searched for each string, so obtaining accurate search history information for search reporting purposes from this page is difficult (although users can select to print both recent and saved searches, which will display the full query and country collections searched for each string).
Notably, TotalPatent customer support seems prompt and responsive, and the company is open and helpful when answering questions about content and functionality (including the absence thereof).
Finally, in late 2009, LexisNexis introduced a semantic search capability to the TotalPatent product, which consists of both a semantic search form and semantic results ranking feature. As of March 2012, the semantic "brain" is now able to identify multiple concepts in a search query and return terms relevant to more than just one dominant concept. This semantic search capability benefits from a knowledge base of over 10 million US patents and Elsevier non-patent prior art sources, including Elsevier full text journal articles. The semantic features are especially notable because they give the user full control over the content and structure of the search string before the search is conducted.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "TotalPatent." LexisNexis website, http://www.lexisnexis.com/en-us/products/total-patent.page. Accessed April 25, 2012.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Enhancements to TotalPatent™." LexisNexis website, http://www.lexisnexis.com/total-patent-enhancements/. Accessed March 23, 2012.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 "TotalPatent™ 3/17/2012 Release." LexisNexis website, http://www.lexisnexis.com/total-patent-enhancements/. Accessed April 9, 2012.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 "LexisNexis® TotalPatent™ User Guide." LexisNexis website, https://www.lexisnexis.com/totalpatent/retrieveHelpManual.do?lang=EN (restricted). Accessed April 25, 2012.
- ↑ Wolff, Thomas. "LexisNexis Opens the ‘Black Box’ With Powerful Semantic Search Technology." Information Today website, http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/NewsBreaks/LexisNexis-Opens-the-Black-Box-With-Powerful-Semantic-Search-Technology-57621.asp. Accessed April 25, 2012.