Patent Literature

Date Published

A search of patent literature is expected to be performed in most instances and this will usually constitute a search of patent literature databases via EPOQUE. Certain technologies (eg. Chemical technologies) may utilise STN for a search of patent literature. Biological sequences within patents may be searched using GenomeQuest.

Various other databases and websites are available for searching patent literature. These are often freely available (e.g. Espacenet, Google Patents) and may be particularly useful for preliminary searching. Note that care must be exercised when using free tools over non-secure connections, such that the search terms used would not amount to a disclosure of the invention to any third party who may have access to the search history.

When searching PCT applications, Minimum Documentation requirements need to be satisfied. Examiners should note that freely available databases may not meet these requirements and thus a search using subscription based tools such as EPOQUE and/or STN should be conducted in most instances.