IPAustralia enhances its online searching system with full
text search capabilities
AusPat is IPAustralia's online searching system for patent
information, and was developed to provide an integrated solution
for Australian patent searching.
Since releasing AusPat in April 2008, IPAustralia has continued
to expand and improve upon the initial offering. As well as some
minor improvements to make the system more user-friendly there have
been a number of major additions to the type of information
available and to tools for using it.
The e-Register allows for an extract of the Register of Patents
to be obtained online rather than having to physically order it.
The e-Register covers standard and innovation patents sealed after
24 May 2001. In addition to the usual bibliographic data it
contains the current status of the patent and a calculated expiry
date based on a 20-year term.
The e-Journal allows for specific searching of the Australian
Official Journal of Patents for publication actions in combination
with other search fields including applicant, title and number. It
is possible to search over a range of dates or journal volume/issue
numbers. This is a step up from having to download and manually
search every journal individually. At present there are 16
different publication actions to select including accepted
applications, extensions of time and opposition proceedings.
IPAustralia have upgraded the tools available for manipulating
the information located during a search. A new function called
MySearches allows for a number of searches to be saved for later
use. This has particular utility where a search needs to be
replicated at a later or recurring date such as in patent
The MyList functionality has been changed to become more
flexible. In addition to increasing the number of documents that
can be stored in MyList it is also possible to download a pdf or
csv file of the bibliographic detail of the stored documents. These
files now contain all of the available display fields of an AusPat
search either in a record format (pdf) or as a spreadsheet (csv)
whereas previously it was only possible to obtain the default
As useful as these improvements have been they still only skim
the surface of the pool of data contained within Australian patent
specifications in that AusPat searches bibliographic data, i.e.
data that can be found on the front page of the specification. It
is with that limitation in mind that IPAustralia have now unlocked
the door to the rest of the specification and introduced full text
searching to AusPat.
Full text searching in AusPat will eventually cover all
Australian specifications open to public inspection (OPI) dating
back to 1904. The first release includes about half of the full
collection, and the rest will be released progressively over the
next few months.
A number of new fields have been added to AusPat to enable
specific searching of portions of the specification. It is now
possible to search the abstract, description or claims separately
or you can search the whole specification. As well as enhancing the
reliability of search results by being able to dig deeper and
avoid, or at least minimise, the old problems of obscure titles and
misclassification, it is possible to narrow the focus of your
search should you initially obtain a large number of hits.
One significant feature not previously available in AusPat is
proximity searching. In addition to the usual Boolean operators AND
and OR it will be possible to locate specifications where a first
keyword is within x words of a second keyword, in either direction.
Relevancy of the search results will improve using these operators,
and as the number of hits is likely to be less it will be possible
to search further keywords thus also improving the
comprehensiveness of the search.
While the searching interface has remained the same, the results
page now has the option of accessing the specifications directly,
rather than having to drill down into each record to access the
IPAustralia's progress towards a one-stop shop for
Australian patent information is still not complete. They are
already working on e-Dossier, a file wrapper module allowing access
to documents relating to prosecution and examination of patent
applications since 2006, which should be released in 2011.
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