Patent educational program No. 8. Search engines


So, in small steps, we smoothly approached the patent search. Today we will find out where

these security documents are hidden. The main part will be devoted to inventions, but we will also touch on patents for industrial designs and trademark certificates. Let's get started.

Imagine a typical life situationconditional engineer, which descended insight. He struggled for a long time over the solution of a complex technical problem, and now it has finally been found. The first thing to do is to make sure that no one has thought of such a decision. For most of these "discoveries" a cursory search will do. Standard search engines will do. Ironically, now you can weed out half of the “ideas in a million” by simply “google”. But if the first approximation did not give analogues, then you should pay attention to the patent databases. And here, unlike standard search engines, a few tips won't hurt. Let's say you reinvent the wheel. It's not worth laughing. There are many elements in this device, the improvement of which will last for a very long time. You have already entered the query "wheel" in the search engine and received millions of options. To apply for patents, simply add the word "patent" to the word "wheel". We get the following result:

Just below the most popular results, links to patents will begin to appear. This is a service from the creators of the most popular search engine in the world.

It may seem that this is too simple and GooglePatents cannot be considered a complete solution, but I assure you, the tool is quite working. In some respects, it even outperforms some other patent databases. So I recommend starting with it. So the search results will look like this:

The request was in Russian, and therefore foundpatents are Russian. We are interested in a small pencil icon in the upper left corner right below the search engine logo. If you click on it, a table for entering refinement search parameters will open:

You can choose the date range in which the applicationfiled or published, indicate the author(s) of the patent, the patent owner, select the language, the patent office, study both current and expired patents. In addition, you can look exclusively at design patents.


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It is impossible not to recall the domestic analogue of such a system. Their functionality is similar. But there are also differences:

In particular, Yandex will not be able to search by typedocument of protection, despite the fact that in addition to industrial samples (design) we also have utility models (in the USA, for example, they do not exist) and searching for them would be logical. However, the main difference lies in the limited number of databases that provide access to Yandex search algorithms. In the Russian Federation, these are databases of Russian patents and Soviet copyright certificates. In Google - all that can be:

Given this circumstance, use Yandex if you have a full-fledged database on site Federal Institute of Industrial Property is inappropriate. By the way, here is what its home page looks like:

It is ironic that in the dynamic news windowsnatched a mention of a malfunction. The fact is that neither the search engine, nor open registries, nor even the accounting of paid fees have been working for the last two weeks. Repaired literally yesterday afternoon (Monday). I even thought not to write about the site, but since it works, let's see what it has to offer. So, we are interested in the "Search Engine" plate. After clicking on it, we will see the following:

There are still traces of a recent failure.We need to click on the "Go to the search" button. After loading the next page, we will have a list of databases from which we need to select those that are of interest to us directly.

The most complete is “Patent Documents of the Russian Federation (RUS.)”. There are full texts, and the issue goes for the maximum possible period of time. Click, select all and go to the search:

After the transition, a fillable search form awaits us.Very detailed. There are so many search criteria that I first read into some of them only when I was preparing the materials for this article. And this is not at all hack-work on my part, as it may seem. This is redundancy on the part of FIPS.

Most people never go beyond basicrequest area. Someone enters a name. Someone is looking for the names of the authors and the applicant (patent holder). Someone may need a publication date. The rest of the lines are more suitable for clerks who carefully monitor the process of passing, for example, international applications.

However, there is one point that may bevery helpful. Namely, the MPC. It stands for International Patent Classification. To understand what this is, let's go back to the search results in Google Patents:

If you remember, we entered the word "wheel" in the search query. However, among the found patents can be seen as "Software wheel calendar mechanism" and "Elastically deformable wheel". Let's open these documents and see what they are.

The patent for "Resiliently Deformable Wheel" refers toto the automotive industry and describes a particular design with a deformable rim and multiple spokes. But the patent for the “Calendar Mechanism Software Wheel” is definitely not about cars:

The second patent, as you probably guessed -it's about the clock. That is, for the same query “wheel”, we received two patents, one of which relates to vehicle wheels with tension spokes, and the other to mechanical watches with a visual indication of time, in particular, a calendar, which differs in the form of indication dates The entire depth of the IPC index tree can be seen if you hover over it:

In a more general form, the steps of the "tree", as a rule, are four. There are more narrower categories. To have an idea about the IPC indices, I recommend wandering through himfor the sake of common development.

That is, as you can see, the IPC index isA great refiner for a search query so you don't have to choose between car wheels, calendar wheels, or virtual scroll wheels in some game interface. The thing is that inventors rarely use exact wording in the title. This often tires competitors when they force them to open hundreds of documents in a row with the same name in search of an analogue or patented solution that urgently needs to be copied. Therefore, additional knowledge of the IPC index can be very useful. A reasonable question arises: what if the authors and the IPC index indicated incorrectly? In this case, an employee of the substantive examination department will indicate the correct one. Just so that the search by this criterion does not give out nonsense.


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Search using the IPC is available as indomestic database of patents, and in Google Patents. We have a separate window in the table, and in Google Patents you can enter the index directly into the query string. And if it were not for the recent problems with search queries in Google Patents (in particular, I no longer have documents in the given time intervals), then it would be possible to no longer talk about search engines for patents. But since not everything goes smoothly, it is worth mentioning another global patent database with more than 120 million titles of protection. It is called Espacenet. The search is located here. You can search both in a simpler form and in an advanced one. The second one is preferable, because there you can just apply everything that we managed to make out here.

One of the downsides is that in the searchillustrations will not be displayed. To view them, you will have to go directly to the document itself. For this reason, it is often easy to open more than 50 tabs and squint to target the right one to make sure you have chosen the right invention for analysis.

Another inconvenience is the needpass the "captcha" in order to download the digital version of the patent. I'm not like a robot, but quite often I pass it far from the first time. The developers are very creative in sculpting numbers on top of each other, which can be very problematic to parse them.

However, where this database can help isin a situation where you need to get some very old copyright certificate. In the domestic database, it will be placed in the form of several separate image sheets, which will also be downloaded with names like “0000001.tiff”. That is, you will have to make a separate folder for such copyright certificates, and then combine them into a single pdf file (often you need to send them by mail). They may not appear on Google Patents at all, but on Espacenet these copyrights will be with a 90% probability (personal observations). And immediately in .pdf. So keep this point in mind if you need to save time.

A little advice on searching on Espacenet.If you are trying to find a patent by number, then do not include the last two characters (letter and number). There were cases when the patent was not located, if you indicate its number in full.

Now let's see where we can look for design patents.

As mentioned above, you can use Google Patents. To do this, just switch the patent type from "Patent" to "Design". Or you can use the appropriate section website of the World Intellectual Property Organization (in English, WIPO).

Similar to Espacenet, in the section with search byThere are many search criteria available for industrial designs. Title, names of authors, name of the patent holder company, countries of validity of the patent, priority date. After selecting a patent holder, you can quickly select a specific year for obtaining a patent.

I don't get to research industrial designs often, but when the time comes, this resource often comes in handy.

Trademarks are rare guests for me. But you can also use the WIPO website to find them. In particular, this chapter.

There are fewer search criteria, but you can get a general idea of ​​​​the results in the issue. During use, I sometimes observed malfunctions, but in general, the section did not fail.

In conclusion, I would like to note that there aremany other patent offices that provide search capabilities in their databases. In particular, national authorities. Well, that is, approximately like a database of Russian patents and copyright certificates of the USSR, only, for example, the Republic of Belarus. Sometimes you have to climb up there. Cause? And the reason is that national offices do not always transmit information about granted patents or published applications in a timely manner. Therefore, sometimes it may turn out that there is already a patent on the website of the national database, but it cannot be found in the global search. So if you need absolutely up-to-date information, then I strongly recommend that you take care of searching in the department of a particular country. If it, of course, provides such an opportunity. By the way, there are situations when the office provides access to a patent search, but there is absolutely no desire to search there. US Patent Office, For example.

Otherwise, a bunch of Google Patents, FIPS andEspacenet - works great and does not require any superhuman effort to master. So if you suddenly take on a complex project that neither you nor your colleagues have heard of before, then look for it among the patents. It is quite possible that you invent something worthwhile. It would be a shame to miss the opportunity to protect your offspring.

Bold ideas, great inventions and successful products. Good luck!

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