Compare:Patent Search System

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This tool allows for side-by-side comparison of the patent search systems that have been reviewed by the Intellogist team. To accurately interpret the table, review the category definitions provided in the Quick Table help topic. Also, be aware that the Quick Tables data is current as of the time the Intellogist article for a given search system was last updated, with the exception of data coverage information, which is updated as we are aware of changes. For more information, see our update policies. If you have questions about the data in the tool, please contact us. If you wish to purchase printable copies of comparison tables, see our FAQ.

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System DataQweb
Owner NameQuestel-Orbit
Intellogist ReportQweb
AddressQuestel (Main US Office)
1725 Duke St
Ste 625
Alexandria Virginia 22314
United States
Main Telephone1 (800) 456 7248
Main Facsimile+1 (703) 519-1821
Customer Support
Tool TypePatent Search Systems, Non-Patent Data Provider, Commercial/Pay Databases
Interface LanguageEnglish
Overall Rating
  • Currently 3.00 / 5
Rating: 3.0/5 (1 vote)
Data Coverage Rating
  • Currently 4.20 / 5
Rating: 4.2/5 (5 votes)
Document Delivery Rating
  • Currently 3.33 / 5
Rating: 3.3/5 (3 votes)
Import/Export Functions Rating
  • Currently 4.00 / 5
Rating: 4.0/5 (2 votes)
Value Rating
  • Currently 3.50 / 5
Rating: 3.5/5 (2 votes)
Usability Rating
  • Currently 3.00 / 5
Rating: 3.0/5 (2 votes)
Interface Functionality Rating
  • Currently 4.67 / 5
Rating: 4.7/5 (3 votes)
Search Accuracy Rating
  • Currently 4.67 / 5
Rating: 4.7/5 (3 votes)
Company Strength Rating
  • Currently 4.50 / 5
Rating: 4.5/5 (2 votes)
Customer Support Rating
  • Currently 4.67 / 5
Rating: 4.7/5 (3 votes)
Data Coverage Qweb
Full Text: Patent Authority CoverageUS, EP, WO/PCT, JP, AT, BE, BR, CA, CH, CN, DE, DK, ES, FI, FR, GB, IN, RU, SE, SU, TW
Full Text: Patent Kind CoverageUS - Published Applications, Granted Patents; EP - Published Applications, Granted Patents; WO/PCT - Published International PCT Applications; JP - Published Applications; AT - Published Applications, Granted Patents, Utility Models; BE - Published Applications; BR - Published Applications, Utility Models; CA - Published Applications, Granted Patents; CH - Published Applications; CN - Published Applications, Granted Patents, Utility Models; DE - Published Applications, Granted Patents, Utility Models; DK - Granted Patents; ES - Published Applications, Utility Models; FI - Granted Patents; FR - Published Applications; GB - Published Applications; IN - Published Applications, Granted Patents; RU - Granted Patents; SE - Granted Patents
Full Text: Number of Authorities21
Partial Text: Patent Authority CoverageINPADOC plus in-house machine translations of English abstracts produced for CN, DE, DK, ES, FI, FR, GB, JP, RU, SE, TW, and WO/PCT, and English abstracts and claims produced for French-language CA; KR biblio and claims (machine abstracts replaced with hand translations when available)
Partial Text: Patent Text CoveredINPADOC - English Abstracts; CN, DE, DK, ES, FI, FR, GB, JP, RU, SE, and TW - English Machine Translated Abstracts. US, EP, and WO/PCT collections - "Key Content" excerpts may be searched; KR - biblio and claims.
Bibliographic: Patent Authority CoverageINPADOC plus special collections for CN, KR, IN, TW, RU
Machine Pre-Translated Datayes Yes, full machine-aided translations for JP, CN; machine translations for BR, DK, ES, FI, RU, SE, and non-Latin language PCTs; English abstracts produced for CA, CN, DE, ES, FR, GB, JP, KR, and TW; English claims for CA, hand translated assignee names for JP, KR
Full Document Images: Patent Authority CoverageAvailable for most patent document collections; complete coverage information not given.
Representative/Front Page ImagesAvailable for most patent document collections; complete coverage information not given.
Full Patent Drawing SetsAvailable for most patent document collections; complete coverage information not given.
Corporate Tree Datano No
Non-Patent Coverageyes Yes
Non-Patent SourcesLitAlert; Compendex; Inspec; PASCAL; ALIT, TULSA, WPAM (related to the petroleum industry); many others.
Special Indexingyes Yes, for some specialized files such as Inspec and Compendex.
Update FrequencyFamPat/PlusPat and major collections are updated weekly, except for AT and BE (monthly) and CH (bimonthly). Fast-track updating of CN, TW, KR, DE, FR, IN records (titles & abstracts) available 1 week after publication, JP (1 to 2 weeks after publication).
Comments on Missing CoverageKnown gaps exist in INPADOC. As with any patent collection, gaps in coverage may exist but have not been discovered or quantified.
Family DataQweb
Inpadoc Family Data Coverageyes Yes
Types of Family DefinitionPlusPat families (document publication stages), FamPat families (every document must share exactly the same priority data w/some exceptions), extended INPADOC families, and DWPI families.
Derwent WPI Family Coverageyes Yes
Citation DataQweb
Backward Citationsyes Yes
Forward Citationsyes Yes
Citation Data CoverageUS, EP, WO/PCT, JP, AP, AU, BE, CH, CY, CZ, DE, DK, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, IT, LU, NL, SG, TR
Special Features of Citation SearchCitation data can be extracted for any record in any system at any time with the CITED command.
Citation Visualization Toolno No
Legal Status DataQweb
Legal Status Data Includedyes Yes
Legal Status Data SourcesINPADOC legal file; comprehensive JP legal status; LitAlert; IFI Claims legal status
Classification DataQweb
Current US Classyes Yes
Original US Classyes Yes
IPC - Ryes Yes
Original IPC data (v1-v7)yes Yes
ECLAyes Yes
Japanese File Index Termsyes Yes
Japanese F-Termsyes Yes
Other National Classification Systemsyes Yes, UK national patent classification, Dutch classification, Locarno for designs
Search Interface FunctionalityQweb
Search Formyes Yes
Command Line Style Interfaceyes Yes
Index Browsing Featureyes Yes
Allowed OperatorsBoolean and proximity operators are available. Proximity operators include sentence and paragraph-based operators and both fixed-order and non-order-specific operators that allow users to define the maximum distance between terms. In addition, a field-specific operator searches for two terms appearing in the same field. Browsing/display indexing operators are also available.
TruncationDepending on the file chosen, truncation is available in limited and unlimited formats for left, right or internal truncation.
Unique Features of the Search InterfaceModern, updated take on a classic command line environment.
Viewing ResultsQweb
Max Hit List SizeUnlimited.
Single Representative Imageyes Yes
View Full Document ImagePDF download available for most documents.
Patent Drawing Thumbnail Overviewno No
Family Sortingyes Yes
Sorting by Other Criteriayes Yes; any field can be sorted with the SORT command.
Deduplicationyes Yes
On-the-Fly Machine Translationsyes Yes
Keyword Term Highlightingyes Yes
Keyword Term Navigationno No
User-Defined Highlightingno No
Highlighting Feature Supports Proximity Operatorsno No
Save Custom Lists From Search Resultsyes Yes; records can be saved.
Combining Custom Patent Listyes Yes
Unique Features of The Record ViewDifferent levels of information can be displayed for varying costs.
Search HistoryQweb
Saving Search Queriesyes Yes
Organizing Search Queriesyes Yes; search histories can be modified.
Stored Search Query Expiration TimeOnce saved, stored searches do not expire.
Combining Search Queriesyes Yes
Exporting Search Historiesyes Yes
Alertsyes Yes
Import, Export and DownloadQweb
Import List of Document Numbersno No
Export Document Datayes Yes
Formats for Export DataTXT, HTML, RTF, PDF, XML
Individual Patent Copy Downloadingyes Yes
Bulk Patent Copy Downloadingyes Yes
File Format for Patent Copy DownloadsPDF or hardcopy by mail
Statistical Analysisyes Yes
Graphsno No
Keyword Analysisno No
Customer SupportQweb
Cost/Usage Trackingyes Yes
On-Site Trainingyes Yes
Scheduled Web Seminarsno No
Live Helpyes Yes
Online User Guideyes Yes
Pricing PolicyPricing is based on the number of individual "seats" necessary, but this is a nominal fee. Search charges are incurred on a transactional (pay-per-use) basis, including connect time. Contracts and pricing sheets are available online.
Primary System StrengthsProprietary FamPat patent family organization; flexible command line search; wide variety of files available to search.
Weaknesses and AnnoyancesConnect hour and pay-per-record-view pricing system expensive and cumbersome for new users. Command line interface also unfriendly for new users.
Overall AssessmentQweb is a powerful system for users comfortable with the connect hour fee structure. However, potential users should evaluate this product next to the STN and DialogClassic data collections to determine which vendor offers the fullest data collection for the target technology or industry.
Company StrengthQuestel-Orbit has a long history as an information provider. Their products include QPat, QWeb, Questel on Imagination, Designfinder, and Merged Markush Service (MMS), and trademark, law and docketing products. In 2007 the company was acquired by SG Capital Europe in an LBO operation.
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