Current IP Information Systems

The primary need of a national Patent Office for intellectual property informatics analysis is related to patents searching and use of patents search information by its internal and external stakeholders.  Examiners need ready access to the patent data set, and they need to be able to do prior art searching that will support granting only claims with a reasonable presumption of validity.  The public also needs ready access to the patent data set, and the patent data sets of other jurisdictions, to do technology searching and freedom to operate analysis for specific innovations.

Over recent years the volume of filings and related data has greatly increased, as has the capacity of IT systems to store, search, and process this material. At the same time the growth of the Internet has changed public expectations and influenced the needs of examiners and the public, particularly with respect to prior art searching.

National IP offices, fee-based and subscription-based data providers and public good providers have responded to these challenges in different ways.  Clearly, there are a variety of potential measures of what constitutes acceptable search functionality and performance; by some metrics, very few providers meet the high standards of public requirements.