Monday, January 09, 2006

RSS Feeds Make Patent Watching a Breeze

If you're a patent news hound like me, you`re probably in the habit of visiting 3-6 patent office web sites a week looking for the latest official press releases, notices and announcements. Of course, all of that clicking and typing gets old fast. Fortunately, some innovative patent information professionals and attorneys are using RSS technology to streamline the process of reading patent office news.

Two of my favourite patent RSS sites are IPNewsFlash and Rethink(IP). IPNewsflash provides feeds of official notices from the USPTO, JPO, EPO, WIPO, UK, German Patent Office and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), the EU agency that administers the Community Trade Mark and Community Design programs. Rethink(IP), a service created by patent attorneys Stephen Nipper, J. Matthew Buchanan and Douglas Sorocco, provides feeds for USPTO notices and press releases, and recently filed patent lawsuits.

The USPTO has been publishing a weekly gazette of abstracts of newly issued patents since 1872. In 2002, the USPTO made a great leap backward to 1990 by moving the Official Gazette (OG) from print to CD-ROM format. (To be fair, the USPTO also publishes the most recent 52 weeks of the OG on its web site.) The new version was called eOG:P, a name which combined the worst of the recent Dot Com boom with the federal government`s love of mind-bending acronyms.

Fortunately, two patent information services, Paterra, Inc. and FreePatentsOnline, now provide RSS feeds of recently issued U.S. patents and published applications. The Paterra feeds display a list of the most recent titles with publication dates and the name of the principal inventor. FreePatentsOnline gives title and a link to the full text document stored in FPO`s online database. Both services are free.