Help:Quick Table Comparison
The Quick Table Comparison tool is designed for the purpose of comparing multiple search systems at once. Quick Tables will show pertinent but abbreviated information relating to many relevant details of a system such as data coverage, search features, and document management. All systems within Quick Tables will be judged and detailed according to the following guidelines. Alternatively, Quick Tables can be used to see a concise rundown of the capabilities for a single system. Currently, Quick Tables can only handle a 3 system maximum.
When originally selecting the systems at the Quick Table Comparisons homepage, users have the option to narrow the available choices by system type. After generating the comparison, results can subsequently be narrowed by removing systems directly from the results screen with the "Remove System" button at the bottom of the table.
The quick tables feature is a resource which allows our users to quickly compare the coverage and features of patent search systems. The tables contain brief, concise answers to a number of popular questions that are often considered when evaluating systems for purchase. To discover the in-depth details and explanations behind the quick table answers, use the links available at the top of each column to view the full length system reports.
Owner Name: The name of the organization that owns and produces the system.
Intellogist Report: A hyperlink to the system report.
Address: Physical address of the system's business division's headquarters (this is not necessarily the owner's headquarters).
Website URL: The main web address for the system or tool.
Customer Support Email: E-mail address for the system's customer support staff.
Partners: The names of any organization that partnered with the main producer of the tool in order to create it, distribute it, or support its use.
Tool Type: We use these tags to provide some basic information about a system or tool. All the appropriate tags that apply to each system are selected from a list of the following categories. Categories include:
Interface Language: This field lists all languages in which the software is available. This field refers to the language in which the software user interface is written, not what language the database records are available in.
This section pulls data from each system's User Rating page for easy comparison.
Full Text: Patent authority coverage: This field contains the two-letter patent authority codes for the full text collections hosted by the system. Full text coverage includes all the document text in searchable electronic format, including title, abstract, specification and claims; it does not include document facsimile image coverage. Machine translated data is also treated as patent text for the purposes of this field.
Full Text: Patent kind coverage: This field contains a list of the document kind codes for each patenting authority listed in the “Full Text: Patent authority coverage field,” above, for which the system hosts a full text collection.
Full Text: Number of Authorities: This field lists the number of countries for which the system offers full text patent coverage.
Partial Text: Patent authority coverage: Partial text coverage is any coverage where only certain sections of the patent document are included, such as a patent record that contains the electronic text of the abstract or claims sections, without the text of the full description. Machine translated data is also treated as patent text for the purposes of this field.
The widely available INPADOC data collection contains a number of countries for which either original language or English abstracts are available. For systems which host INPADOC, the partial text coverage is represented in this field by “INPADOC plus,” where any other countries covered in partial text are listed after that phrase.
The Derwent World Patents Index (DWPI) file includes specially written high-level English summaries of patent content – these abstracts will be considered "partial text" coverage for the purposes of this table. Coverage for systems which contain the INPADOC file and the DWPI file will be represented by the phrase "INPADOC and DWPI plus," where any other countries covered in partial text will be listed after that phrase.
Finally, coverage for countries already contained within INPADOC or DWPI will be listed as "special collections," while coverage for authorities outside of INPADOC or DWPI will be listed as "additional authorities." Machine translations that are generated by the system provider will be labeled as "in-house machine translations." For example, the hypothetical entry:
"INPADOC and DWPI plus a special collection for KR, additional authorities BO, GT, and in-house machine translations for AT, BE and CH"
…means that the system hosts both the INPADOC and DWPI collections, and in addition, the system hosts a separate partial text collection for the Republic of Korea (KR) documents obtained from another source (even though Korea is also represented in INPADOC and DWPI). Furthermore, the system hosts partial text collections for additional patenting authorities Bolivia (BO) and Guatemala (GT), which are not present in INPADOC or DWPI. Finally, the system provider generates machine translated abstracts for data from Austria (AT), Belgium (BE), and Switzerland (CH), and adds these machine translations into their database.
Partial Text: Patent text covered: Partial text coverage is any coverage where only certain sections of the patent document are included, such as a patent record that contains the electronic text of the abstract or claims sections, without the text of the full description. This field describes which text sections are available for those collections listed in the “Partial Text: Patent authority coverage” field. Machine translated data is also treated as patent text for the purposes of this field. This information is provided for each collection covered by partial text; if the information varies by kind code, that fact will be included here as well. Titles are not mentioned in this field.
Bibliographic: Patent authority coverage: This field contains information about the bibliographic data collections offered by the system. Bibliographic collections contain only identifying information about patent documents such as publication and priority data, inventor, assignee etc. They may contain document titles. Because the major worldwide bibliographic data collections INPADOC and Derwent World Patents Index (DWPI) are offered by many vendors, and because these files are updated on a regular basis, the contents of this field will start with the phrase “INPADOC plus” for any system that offers the INPADOC file, and "INPADOC and DWPI plus" for any system that offers both files. Any unique bibliographic collections offered by the system will then be listed after this phrase.
Finally, coverage for countries already contained within INPADOC or DWPI will be listed as "special collections," while coverage for authorities outside of INPADOC or DWPI will be listed as "additional authorities."
For example, the hypothetical entry "INPADOC and DWPI plus additional authorities DO, PY, and a special collection for SU" means that the system hosts both the INPADOC and DWPI collections, and in addition hosts bibliographic collections for patenting authorities Dominican Republic (DO) and Paraguay (PY). In addition, the system hosts a separate bibliographic collection for the Soviet Union (SU) patents, even though the Soviet Union is also represented in INPADOC and DWPI.
Machine Pre-Translated Data: This Yes/No field lists all collections that have been pre-translated by machine from their original language to another language (for the purposes of keyword searching in these collections and allowing English language searchers to read them). The collections will be listed by their country codes, but all other information in the table is still applicable to this collection (for example, the CN collection might be a partial text instead of a full text collection, so looking for "CN" in the other data coverage fields of the table is necessary to get more information about the collection). It is understood that the collections have been translated into English. If they have been translated into another language, that fact will be stated explicitly. In rare instances, systems offer collections that are "machine-assisted translations," where an editor has reviewed and corrected a machine translation before including it in the collection. In other cases, a collection may be essentially hand translated. When this occurs, the words "machine-assisted" or "hand translated" will appear in parenthesis after the collection.
Full Document Images: Patent authority coverage: This field contains information about which patenting authorities have associated original document facsimile image collections in the system. Dates of coverage are not taken into consideration in this field – this field is meant only to display the countries which have *any* image coverage. In the instance where a system draws coverage from the EPO database, this field will contain the phrase "Equal to esp@cenet plus," followed by any country codes for which the system hosts special collections. In the instance where the system merely provides links to a third party vendor hosting the document image, that fact is noted in this field.
In the case where a system obtains image coverage from the EPO database, but also maintains separate collections of images for a few patenting authorities, these separate collections will be denoted by the entry "Equal to esp@cenet plus special collections for" followed by the authority codes represented by special collections.
Images: Representative/Front Page Images: This field contains information on whether front page or representative drawing images (sometimes called "clipped" images) are shown for patents found via the system. These images can be shown in reduced "thumbnail" size or as full sized images. The way these images are displayed can vary widely, so a brief comment on the feature is included in this field. If the countries of coverage are known, they will be listed here. If dates of coverage are known for each country, that information will not be shown due to space constraints. The Derwent World Patents Index contains a representative image for some DPWI family records; where the DWPI file is loaded, these representative images are also present, and will be indicated in this field.
Full Patent Drawing Sets: This field contains information about the availability of patent drawing sets. Some systems are able to produce patent drawing sets through their own proprietary processes, while others link to the drawing mosaics available from the EPO's free esp@cenet service. If the full drawing sets are available through extraction, the entry will begin "Full drawing sets are available…" If the service uses esp@cenet mosaics, the entry will explicitly state that coverage is equal to the drawing mosaics available from that service. A brief comment about any other notable features of the drawing sets may be added. If dates of coverage are known for each country, that information will not be shown due to space constraints
Corporate Tree Data: This Yes/No field indicates whether the system offers a data file of corporate relationships that allows users to look up subsidiary names for a given company. If “Yes,” a brief comment is added stating the source of the data file, if known.
Non-Patent Coverage: This Yes/No field indicates whether the system offers any searchable non-patent information collections.
Non-Patent Sources: This field lists the names of the major non-patent data sources included in the search tool. These can be the names of major scientific, technical, news, or business literature databases, or if the non-patent literature collection was specially created for the tool, a short description of the data collection may be included. (Supplementary information such as corporate tree data or thesauri are not mentioned in this field). If no non-patent literature sources are included in the tool, the chart will show the entry "N/A." The Derwent World Patents Index (DWPI) file does contain some non-patent content in the form of Research Disclosure defensive publications – this information is omitted from this field.
Special Indexing: This field is present to discuss any other value-added indexing that has been added to any of the data collections hosted by the system. If “Yes,” a brief comment will be added describing the nature of this special indexing.
Update Frequency: This field presents any known information about the system's update schedules.
Comments on Missing Coverage: This field contains any comments on missing coverage (gaps in coverage) that can be verified from the systems’ site or via a trusted source (such as the INPADOC coverage report, available from Downloading INPADOC Coverage). If there are no known gaps, the field will contain the following entry: “As with any patent collection, gaps in coverage may exist but have not been discovered or quantified.”
Inpadoc Family Data Coverage: A Yes/No field indicating whether INPADOC family data coverage is available on the system.
Types of Family Definition: This field lists the types of patent families that may be accessed via the system. If no patent families are present in the system, the entry will show "N/A." Note that systems may create their own special rules to generate patent families. For information on the different types of patent family, see the Patent Families article.
Derwent WPI Coverage: This field is used to answer the question "Is Derwent World Patents Index (DWPI) file searchable on the system?" If the answer is "yes," and the system also includes peripheral databases related to the DWPI file, such as Derwent First View or Derwent World Patents Index, these additional files will be listed here also. If these peripheral databases are not present, they are not mentioned.
Backward Citations: This Yes/No field indicates whether the system contains searchable or hyperlinked "backward citation" data (sometimes called a "cited documents" list) for patent records. To learn more about citations and to find a definition of "backward citation," see the citations article.
Forward Citations: This Yes/No field indicates whether the system contains a method of "forward citation" searching (to find later patents that cite a subject patent). To learn more about citations and to find a definition of "forward citation," see the citations article.
Citation Data Coverage: This field contains information about whether citation data is available for any of the patent collections offered by the system. Often, citation data is obtained from the INPADOC bibliographic file. Only backward citation data is discussed in this field, because forward citation relationships are often built dynamically throughout the database based on initial backward citation information loaded with the data set.
Special Features of Citation Search: A free text field where the citation searching mechanism of the system is described. Editors are asked to note any unusual functionality of the citation search features in this field.
Citation Visualization Tool: This Yes/No field indicates whether the system offers a citation visualization tool to promote analysis of a given patent’s citation relationships. If “Yes,” a brief comment is added discussing any unusual features of the tool.
Legal Status Data
Legal Status Data Included: This Yes/No field indicates whether any legal status information is included in the system. Legal status information does not have to be searchable, but must be display-able, in order to be constitute a "Yes" in this field.
Legal Status Data Sources: This field lists all sources that the system draws on to build its legal status data collection. Often, legal status is available from the INPADOC legal status file. However, some systems may also receive legal status feeds from national patent offices.
Current US class: This Yes/No field indicates whether the eligible patent collections in the system are searchable by the current US patent classification system codes. In order for this to occur, the system must maintain the most recently updated electronic classification data, rather than just searching the classification information published on the document face.
Original US Class: This Yes/No field indicates whether the re-classified patent documents in the collection are searchable by the original US patent classification codes assigned to the document at time of publication. (Some systems add the new US classification codes to the record in addition to the original classifications, while others replace the original codes with the updated class codes.)
IPC – R: This Yes/No field indicates whether the eligible patent collections in the system are searchable by the most recent International Patent Classification (IPC) codes. In order for this to occur, the system must maintain appropriately updated electronic records. Since IPC-R codes were only adopted in 2006, they will not be published on the faces of the patent documents.
Original IPC data (v1-v7): This Yes/No field indicates whether the eligible patent collections in the system are searchable by the IPC codes originally published on the document faces. Before IPC reform required new codes to back-propagate over the entire collection, the codes published on the patent faces were not revised or updated electronically.
ECLA: This Yes/No field indicates whether the eligible patent collections are searchable by ECLA classification codes.
Japanese File Index Terms: This Yes/No field indicates whether the eligible patent collections are searchable by Japanese File Index classification codes.
Japanese F – Terms: This Yes/No field indicates whether the eligible patent collections are searchable by Japanese F-Term classification codes.
Other National Classification Systems: This field is used to indicate whether any other patent classification systems can be used to search in the system's collections. If none are present, the "No" icon will appear; if others are present, the names of the additional classification systems will be shown here. Common additional classification systems include the DEKLA and Locarno classification systems.
Search Interface Functionality
Search Form: This Yes/No field is used to indicate whether the service offers a search form as a graphical user interface for the user to input search parameters (as differentiated from a command line interface, discussed below.)
Command Line Interface: This Yes/No field is used to indicate whether the service offers a command-line or command-line-style interface for users to input search queries (as differentiated from a search form, discussed above). If users can enter search commands in special search syntax from the form, a "Yes" answer will be shown.
Index Browsing Feature: This field addresses whether the system offers any index browsing feature. This is any feature that allows users to browse current entries in the database before searching (these features are often useful to get an idea of spelling errors or other variations; for example, they could be used to discover any company name variations that may exist in the database before performing an assignee search). If “Yes,” a brief description of the tool may be provided in cases where the tool has notable qualities.
Allowed Operators: This free text field is used to describe the available search operators that may be used in the system (due to space constraints, any information about particular database restrictions on the use of operators is left out of this discussion). Boolean and proximity operators are discussed in this field, along with any other available operator; the exception is truncation and wildcard characters, which are discussed in the Truncation field definition below.
Truncation: This free text field is used to describe the available truncation and wildcard features of the system, including whether the system enables 0-or-1 character wildcards, and/or limited or unlimited right, left, or internal truncation, as well as simultaneous left and right truncation (or SLART). This field also includes information about whether the system offers stemming. The symbols used to represent truncation operators are not included here.
Unique Features of the Search Interface: This free text field is used to give the reader a sense of the functionality of the system's search interface. The details included in this field are at the editor's discretion and are not standardized.
Max Hit List Size: This field lists the maximum number of search results that the user can view/access using the system hit display features (the system may allow a higher number of results to be exported). If the system does not have a maximum hit list size or if the editor was unable to discover a limit, the term "unlimited" is used.
Single Representative Image: This Yes/No field indicates whether representative patent drawings are shown alongside search results (whether they are shown in the hit list or in the individual record view).
View Full Document Image: This Yes/No field describes whether users can view an original patent document image via the system. If the answer is "Yes," it will be followed by a few descriptive sentences discussing how users can view the document image (e.g. whether it must be downloaded or if it can be opened in the browser window.)
Patent Drawing Thumbnail Overview: This Yes/No field is used to indicate whether any type of “patent drawing summary” is available, such as a drawing mosaic, which allows users to scan the full set of drawings without having to switch pages. Links to esp@cenet mosaics are a typical way that systems allow users to scan patent drawings.
Family Sorting: This Yes/No field is used to explain whether the system can organize a set of individual patent documents into patent families. This practice reduces reviewing time because it removes duplicate family members from the result set by incorporating them into their related patent families. A "Yes" answer will be followed by an explanation of what patent family type(s) can be used to reduce the result set.
Sorting by Other Criteria: When viewing search results in a hit list or saved results set, users often want to sort the records by date, inventor, assignee, classification code, or by other parameters. This Yes/No field is used to indicate whether sorting is available, and if so, to explain the available parameters that can be used to sort records in the system. Not all parameters may be listed in every instance, but in cases where sorting is limited to a short list of available options, those options are listed where possible. If relevancy ranking is available from the system, this will always be explicitly stated here.
Deduplication: This Yes/No field is used to indicate whether the system offers any deduplication function. Deduplication is only necessary when a system searches more than one overlapping data collection, and thus the same record could potentially have been returned twice, causing duplicate hits. It does not refer to reducing-by-family, which is discussed above. When a system has the potential to generate duplicate hits but does not offer deduplication feature, the answer will be shown as "No." When the system does not have the potential to generate overlapping hits (for example, if it only searches a single collection), the answer N/A will be shown.
On-the-Fly Machine Translations: This Yes/No field indicates whether the tool offers a machine translation engine. If the answer is "Yes," it means that this system allows users to produce on-the-fly machine translations of patent text.
Keyword Term Highlighting: This Yes/No field is used to indicate if the system automatically highlights keyword hits in different colors as they appear in the text of the search results.
Keyword Term Navigation: This Yes/No field is used to indicate whether the system allows users to automatically jump to the next keyword hit term when viewing a record. The "Yes" icon will be used whether this is accomplished via hyperlinks, or by another method that allows users to skip to the next hit term.
User-Defined Highlighting: This field is used to discuss whether users can choose other terms to highlight besides the hit terms, and to create their own highlighting schemes when viewing search hits. A Yes answer will be followed by a discussion of how many different colors are available in the highlighting feature (i.e. a highlighting scheme that supports six colors will allow up to six unique keyword terms to be identified with different colors).
Highlighting Feature Supports Proximity Operators: This Yes/No field is used to indicate whether the system's highlighting feature will support proximity operators. This feature can be used to effectively highlight phrases, not just individual words.
Save Custom Lists From Search Results: This Yes/No field addresses whether handpicked documents of interest may be saved in a saved results list. (The word “custom” in the title of this field denotes that users are selecting individual documents of interest.) If "Yes," a brief comment will address any additional known information, such as if and when these list expire and the maximum number of documents they can hold.
Combining Custom Patent List: This field addresses whether saved result sets can be combined using Boolean operators. (This feature is useful to searchers who wish to add or subtract documents between two different saved data sets, for example, to avoid reviewing certain documents a second time.) If the answer is "Yes," it is implied that all three major Boolean operators can be used to combine results sets. If only one or two of the available Boolean operators can be used to combine sets, the available operators will be discussed in a brief comment.
Unique Features of The Record View: This free text field is used to give the reader a sense of the functionality of the system's record-viewing features. The details included in this field are at the editor's discretion and are not standardized.
Saving Search Queries: This Yes/No field is used to indicate whether the search tool can save individual search queries. A Yes/No answer is followed by a brief comment about any notable aspect of the function.
Organizing Search Queries: This Yes/No field is used to indicate whether saved queries can be grouped or otherwise "organized" within the system (for example, some systems allow users to place saved queries into folders with other searches related to a particular project). A "Yes" answer is followed by a brief comment about how the system enables query organization.
Stored Search Query Expiration Time: This field is used to explain how long a saved search query will be stored in the system's memory. If a saved search does not expire, that also will be indicated here.
Combining Search Queries: This Yes/No field is used to indicate whether two previously executed search queries can be iteratively combined (or "stacked") to create a more complex query. The Yes icon indicates that queries can be combined using all three major Boolean operators: AND, OR, and NOT. If this feature is enabled, but not all Boolean operators are available, a comment will be added after a Yes answer to describe which operators are available.
Exporting Search Histories: This Yes/No field is used to discuss the ways in which search queries can be captured from the system and saved externally. The Yes/No answer indicates whether there is a formal method for exporting search queries. If "Yes" this feature is described. If "No," a brief comment addresses other methods of capturing the search history.
Alerts: This Yes/No field indicates whether the system offers an alerting or SDI (selective dissemination of information) option. An alert is a saved search that will be re-run once every given time period and will typically deliver any new results to the users e-mail or RSS feed. If “Yes,” and an RSS alerting feature is present, a comment will indicate that.
Import, Export, and Downloads
Import List of Document Numbers: This Yes/No field addresses whether the system will allow the user to import a list of document numbers. This is useful for searchers who already have a long list of related documents, or want to switch from one search system to another. If "Yes," a brief comment describes the import process.
Export Function: This Yes/No field addresses whether the system allows users to export bibliographic information about identified patent documents in bulk. If "Yes," a brief comment will describe any unusual/unique features of the export function (with the exception of file formats used for the export, which are discussed in the Formats for Export Data field).
Formats for Export Data: If the answer to the Export Function field is "Yes," all available file formats supported by the system's export function will be listed here. Any unusual or product-specific file extensions will be explained (e.g. a special format compatible with the program EndNote will be written as "EndNote.")
Individual Patent Copy Downloading: This field addresses whether patent document facsimile images may be downloaded from the system on an individual basis (bulk downloading is discussed in the field below). The field is Yes/No, but qualifying information may be added after either answer, to further explain the available functionality when necessary. If the system does not host the patent document copies but instead links to a third-party host, a brief comment will explain that fact.
Bulk Patent Downloading: This field addresses whether it is possible to download document facsimile images in bulk from the system (downloading in bulk means downloading an entire set of document images at once). If yes, a brief comment will address additional concerns such as any limits on the number of documents that can be downloaded at once, and pricing information if available.
File Format for Patent Copy Downloads: This field is used to list all available file formats in which downloaded patent copies are available.
Statistical Analysis: This Yes/No field indicates whether the system has any ability to perform statistical analysis on patent results sets, for example, generating a list of the top ten assignees or IPC class codes.
Graphs: This Yes/No field indicates whether the system can generate charts or graphs from the underlying data in a patent results set, such as the number of filings per year or the number of patents assigned to each of the top ten assignees, for instance.
Keyword Analysis: This Yes/No field indicates whether the system offers any keyword analysis feature, such as a clustering tool. In essence, a keyword analysis feature would consist of mining keywords from the record text (abstract or specification) to perform analysis based on keyword frequency or semantic analysis.
Cost/Usage Tracking: This field addresses whether the system easily allows users to track their usage, (e. g. by entering a client tracking number when signing on). A brief comment may be added describing the feature.
On-Site Training: This Yes/No field addresses the question of whether on-site support is offered by the system provider.
Scheduled Web Seminars: This Yes/No field addresses the question of whether the system makes live or prerecorded web-based training seminars available to all customers. Live seminars must be offered to all customers on a regular basis in order to qualify as a "yes" answer. Please note that almost all providers can offer live training seminars upon request, so web seminars on a per-request basis do not qualify the provider for a "yes" answer.
Live Help: This Yes/No field addresses whether live customer support is available from the system’s support team.
Online User Guide: This Yes/No field addresses whether an online help document is available from the system.
Pricing Policy: This section is for any known information about the company’s pricing structure for the tool. For example, some tools are sold by seat, while others might be sold by site license. In addition, sometimes the price per seat will decrease in increments for the first 10, next 10, etc. Any publicly provided information is included here.
Primary Strengths: This free text field discusses the primary strengths of the tool as seen by the editors. The details included in this field are at the editor's discretion and are not standardized.
Weaknesses and Annoyances: This free text field discusses the major weaknesses of the tool as seen by the editors. The details included in this field are at the editor's discretion and are not standardized.
Overall Assessment: This field places the tool in context based on the editor’s knowledge of the patent information industry. The details included in this field are at the editor's discretion and are not standardized.
Company Strength: This field contains a short statement about the strength of the company and its relative position in the industry. The details included in this field are at the editor's discretion and are not standardized.
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