From: George Porter
Date: 31 Aug 2000
In my presentation at the ACS meeting last week, I mentioned the
difficulties many libraries and individuals have encountered when attempting
to view the TIFF images provided by the USPTO . The
Patent & Trademark Office does provide a viewer, AlternaTIFF
, which must be installed and configured
to view the page images.
Another approach is to use the esp@cenet service ,
hosted by the UK Patent Office. For demonstration purposes, I followed the
Patent applications with an English abstract
and title from
Worldwide - 30 million documents
then searched for Inventor: Flagan
esp@cenet returns 9 US patents, an Australian(?) patent, and a WIPO patent.
The same search through USPTO's Boolean search facility
yields the same 9 US
patents. In addition to the international coverage, esp@cenet enjoys the
advantage of providing all of the patent information as PDFs. Adobe Acrobat
Reader, while having the same price as AlternaTIFF, i.e. free, has shipped
as standard equipment on most Macs and PCs since manufactured since 1996.
No headaches in terms of acquiring and installing software, especially in
locked down system configurations.
USPTO offers US patents 1976-. esp@cenet doesn't document the coverage in a
way that I've been able to find.
Another point of interest to the international audience -- owing to the
international nature of the esp@cenet venture, there are multiple language
interfaces available. Swedish, for instance, is .
German . Spanish . I
think you get the idea. Each is hosted by the national patent authority of
the originating country, but provides access to the complete set.
SciFinder and SciFinder Scholar use ChemPort to resolve fulltext patents
through esp@cenet. For US patents, links are provided for both USPTO and
George S. Porter
Sherman Fairchild Library of Engineering & Applied Science
Pasadena, CA 91125-4300
Telephone (626) 395-3409 Fax (626) 431-2681