Wednesday, March 12, 2014

One of the perks of Fondren Library at Rice University being a Patent and Trademark Resource Center is having on-site access to the PubWest and PubEast databases allowing for more sophisticated search techniques.

PubWest (WEST stands for Web-based Examiner’s Search Tool) has precision search tools to allow for more focused searches, multiple database searching, and faster viewing. It includes abstracts from the European and Japanese Patent Offices plus a database of foreign patents and published applications searchable only by patent number or application number.

For those who are already expert patent searchers, PubEast allows for even more sophisticated search techniques and faster viewing. PubEast now includes the Foreign Patent Retrieval Service (FPRS) database. FPRS is a foreign abstract database with text searchable indexes. It expands the image link available for the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) abstracts that include the entire Foreign Document collection held by USPTO (with the caveat that some documents may not have an associated image).

It's advisable to become proficient with the USPTO's online patent searching tools before trying first PubWest and then perhaps the more-complicated-to-learn PubEast.

For inventors in the Houston area, a good place to start learning patent searching is the basic patent search class at Rice University's Fondren Library offered once a month (class schedule). After this introduction to the basics of searching, a PubWest self-directed PowerPoint is available on Fondren's patent computers. Before the end of 2014, look for an introductory PubEast class. For those who are already expert patent searchers, a handout providing an orientation to PubEast is available now.