It's October... the time of year when patent searchers wait and watch for news from esp@cenet. The EPO rolled out its latest esp@cenet improvements this week.
The most impressive is a beta search function called SmartSearch. SmartSearch allows the user to enter terms such as inventor name, keyword, publication number, date, etc. in any order and without having to specify a search field for each term. For example, entering "Bombardier CA 2007" will cause SmartSearch to look for Bombardier as the inventor/applicant, Canadian patent documents (2 letters indicating the country code) and 2007 as the publication date.
Clicking on "Refine Search" in a SmartSearch search results list will take you to the SmartSearch search page where you can explore more features. There are 22 search field identifiers, some of them representing more than one field. For example, TA searches both title and abstract. A maximum of 21 search terms can be combined with Boolean operators and a maximum of 4 search terms per search field are allowed. Date range searching and proximity operators are only available at the EP level. Full text searching of the claims and specification is not possible. A maximum of five brackets can be used per search. Left truncation is not permitted.
esp@cenet also has added an export function that exports bibliographic data from up to 30 records at a time from search hit lists and documents stored in the "My Patents List". The fields include title, publication number, publication date, inventor(s), applicant(s), international classification, European classification, application number, date of application, priority number(s) and cited documents. The capacity of the "My Patents List" has been expanded to 100 documents (previously 20).
Esp@cenet also has a new logo celebrating its tenth anniversary.