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LinkedIn Question by Vagelis Hristidis: Desired Features or Properties of a Patents Search Engine

I have been working for a year now on a search engine for patents. Clearly, a key property is the quality of search, that is, discovering the most relevant patents. But are there any other useful features (e.g., automatically email the results of a search) or properties (e.g., encrypt queries for privacy) that are missing from current patent search systems?

Dear Vagelis,

Interesting question regarding encryption. Generally, I have never seen anything in terms of encryption on the public patent searching sites. However, any web site that offers SSL or https:// access is encrypted and thus you likely won’t have any issues when using those.

More generally, I have found that simply by using proper security on your system (e.g. connecting to routers with WPA) is sufficient to achieve your needs of privacy. In other words, if you’re worried about people snooping on your patent searches, then don’t connect to public internet wireless access points without proper protection.

As for e-mailing the results of a search, offhand I’ve seen that feature in a number of places. My favorite search tool is patentlens.net (http://www.patentlens.net/patentlens/structured.cgi) which allows me to save and e-mail my search results.

I hope this helps.


Robert Z. Cashman is a patent litigation attorney / patent attorney in Houston, TX.  He has started an informative website using the name Cashman IP which will be a resource for those who wish to obtain a patent or for those who would like to find out how to prevent companies from stealing their inventions. Services include help with entering into IP Agreements & Licensing options, IP Enforcement and Litigation, and Strategic Counseling.

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