U.S. PTO to Load Patents and Trademarks Full Text on Web

Searcher, September 1, 1998 | Go to article overview

U.S. PTO to Load Patents and Trademarks Full Text on Web


By the late fall of this year, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) will have loaded its full-text, fullimage collection of patent and trademark data onto the Web over 20 million pages of information. This will constitute the largest electronic library of patent and trademark data available free on the Internet, according to Secretary of Commerce William M. Daley. When complete, the array of data will include the full text of 2 million patents dating back to 1976 and the text and clipped images of 800,000 trademarks and 300,000 pending registrations from the late 1 800s to the present - all available free to the public on the Internet.

As currently scheduled, trademark text was to go online in August, with trademark images and patent text following in November. Patent images that correlate to text will go online - also free - by March of 1999. Users will also be able to order high-quality copies for electronic delivery online at the same $3per-copy price they now pay.

The PTO already offers a significant body of patent information on the Web. In 1994 it opened free Internet access to a database of some 3,000 full-text AIDS research-related patents, including document images for over half the entries, adding some 1,500 foreign patents later, In 1995, it posted 20 years of patent bibliographic data and abstracts from over 2 million patents in the PatBib database. Currently the PatBib file serves over 3 million pages a month or some 400,000 hits a day.

In comparison with the free offering from the U.S. PTO Web site [http:// www.uspto.gov], the simplest search - quickie search strategy, short browse, single full-text display of a patent - on a commercial service such as STN International or MicroPatent could cost from $3 to $5. Search software capabilities differ widely among suppliers, of course. For example, in trademark searching, Thomson & Thomson's Trademarkscan, available from Dialog and through Thomson & Thomson's own Web-accessible SAEGIS service, provides alternative spelling, sound-alike, and automatic singular/plural treatments. …

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