How can I find patent literature?
Studying patent literature is important for different reasons. Not only does it contain a lot of technical information (which may not be published in scientific literature) but it provides information about the important players in a specific field and what they are doing and allows you to find out about potentially relevant third party rights.
Patent literature can be downloaded in part for free from publicly accessible patent databases. A few examples are:
- European patent office database
- US patent office database
- WIPO patent database
- Belgian patent literature
- The Belgian Office for the Industrial Property
- The Dutch Office for the Industrial Property
- Dutch patent literature
A useful tool in searching the prior art is the IPC classification codes which enable you to retrieve relevant patent documents in a particular subject field. The codes are available here.
The drawback of these public databases is that they do not have very detailed or comprehensive searching tools and are not capable of handling complex search terms.
De Clercq & Partners can provide you with patent information by performing searches and analyzing the results.