Report:Thomson Innovation/Data Coverage/Patent Coverage/Full Text Coverage/Patent Cooperation Treaty or PCT (WO)
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The Patent Cooperation Treaty Collection
Patent Cooperation treaty (WO/PCT) published applications, filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), are included in the database. This collection extends from the organization’s first publications, from 1978-present. At least front page drawings are included from 1997-date; drawings coverage before 1997 is partial. The help file states that English MAT translations for WO Japanese records from 2006 (and partially from 2004) are included in this collection. The system also includes partial coverage of English MT translations for WO Korean documents from 2009 onwards. English translations of WO Japanese and Korean records are available only with Asian Translated Patent Data subscription entitlements. The collection is updated weekly.
The file was created by scanning paper gazettes using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, so errors in the electronic text should be expected. Possible issues are more likely to be encountered in pre-2008 records, including the following:
- You may notice errors in interpretation of letters/characters (especially in older records)
- A small percentage of records may be absent because they failed to scan, these documents are reprocessed and then added to the database as they become available
- Some claims may be combined
- Some bibliographic information may have been included as part of text segments of the record (through the OCR process), so the help file recommends searching text more generally rather than (or in addition to) relying on searching discrete text fields (Claims, Abstract, etc.).
The Thomson Innovation help file states that the WIPO collection currently has the following breakdown of languages: 67% English, 13% Japanese, 13% German, 4% French, 2% Chinese, 1% other.
In contrast to the other files, which are assumed to be comprehensive, the PCT collection is only partially complete and searchable (91% is searchable in full text, and 9% is bibliographic data only). This is because the PCT accepts applications in one of 10 official languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and Arabic; unfortunately, documents submitted in one of the last five languages are not converted into electronic text for Thomson’s database. The documents submitted to PCT receiving offices in any of the latter five non-Romanized languages currently make up about 9% of the total PCT filings over the entire lifespan of the PCT collection. However, as Asian and Arabic-speaking countries continue in economic growth, their patent filings will make up a larger percentage of overall PCT filings each year. For example, according to WIPO's 2012 annual review, about 33.36% of applications in 2011 were filed in Korean, Chinese, Japanese, or Russian (Arabic language filings accounted for less than 0.1%).
Although partial collections of WO Korean and Japanese records translated into English using machine translation are available, these incomplete collections do not solve the problem, since WO Chinese, Arabic, and Russian records translated to English aren't available, too.
The problem of increasing PCT filings in non-Romanized languages is somewhat offset by the fact that many countries require the application be translated into that country’s national language before the national examination phase (WIPO does not grant patents; it is left up to the national patent offices to decide whether the international filing grants as a patent in their country). However, to offset potential language/translation problems, international searchers should generally take care to search as many foreign collections and worldwide databases as possible to minimize the chances that something will be missed.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Patent Collection Details." Thomson Innovation website, http://www.thomsoninnovation.com/tip-innovation/support/help/collections_patent.htm. Accessed August 31, 2012.
- ↑ "2012 PCT Yearly Review,The International Patent System." The World Intellectual Property Organization, http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/freepublications/en/patents/901/wipo_pub_901_2012.pdf. Accessed on August 30, 2012.