Magazine article Online

How Good an Online Searcher Are You? 20 Questions about Patent Databases - Part 2

Magazine article Online

How Good an Online Searcher Are You? 20 Questions about Patent Databases - Part 2

Article excerpt

Patents are a lot like the elephant 'seen' by the three blind men. Sometimes they look like a part of the scientific literature, and sometimes like business news, and sometimes like legal contracts. And, they really are all of those things, depending upon your focus. Many of the databases that cover patents see only one aspect of patents, while others look at patents from all angles. There are a great many searchers who need to look at patents only as technical disclosures. This is the viewpoint taken by Chemical Abstracts and other abstracting services that index patents, along with the journal literature. It is also possible to focus only on the bibliographic aspects of patents, as INPADOC does. And it is possible to focus on the patent claims, as PATDPA and the U.S. Patents files do. A few exceptional databases, Derwent's World Patents Index (WPI) and IFI/Plenum's CLAIMS Uniterm and Comprehensive databases being the most prominent, attempt to index the technical disclosure as well as the claims, and to provide all of the bibliographic information in the patent.

More and better patent information is being introduced to online databases every year. As patent information becomes more readily available, searchers are being asked to understand more about the patent system in order that they can understand what the information signifies. The following 20 questions relate to patent databases (including some of the newest patent databases), patent jargon, and aspects of patent law that are important to understanding the information in the databases.

1. Markush is the name of:

A. An early 20th century inventor

B. A class of chemical substances

C. A patent claim format

D. Answers A and C, above

E. All of the above

2. Patents that share the same priority have:

A. The same claims

B. The same expiration date

C. The same inventors

D. All of the above

3. The effective term of a U.S. utility patent is:

A. 17 years from the application date

B. 17 years from the issue date

C . 17 years from the issue date, renewable

once

D. 17 years from the issue date provided that

maintenance fees are paid or that the

patent was applied for before 12/12/80

4. The effective term of a European patent is:

A. 20 years from the application date

B. 17 years from the issue date

C. 20 years from the issue date provided that

maintenance fees are paid

D. 20 yearsfrom the application date

provided that maintenance fees are paid

5. Which of the following is not present in an

EPAT record?

A. The filing date

B. The author abstract

C. The name of a competitor who opposed

the patent grant

D. The date an abandoned application was

withdrawn

6. The NP field in a WPI record designates:

A. The number of countries in which patents

have been granted

B. The number of countries in which a patent

has been applied for

C. The number of patents listed in the WPI

record

D. The number of items listed in the PN field

of the WPI record

7. Derwent indexes patents for WPI from how

many countries?

A.33

B.52

C. 31 countries and two international patent

conventions

D. 28 countries and two international patent

conventions

8. In WPI, the technical content of patents is

searchable by means of:

A. U.S. patent classification codes

B. Controlled thesaurus terms

C. Derwent chemical fragmentation, polymer

and 'manual' codes

D. …

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