04 April 2011

IP Australia Launches Enhanced Patent Search with Online File History

The enhanced Australian patent search system, AusPat v2.0, has now gone live!

As we reported last November (see IP Australia Announces Upcoming Launch of Full Text Patent Searching), a beta version of the new system has been in operation for a few months, providing full-text searching of approximately 50% of IP Australia's full collection of patent documents.  Subject to a few exceptions (see below for further details), the release version provides full text searching of Australian patent specification dating back to 1904.

The other enhancement included in AusPat v2.0, which was foreshadowed by IP Australia last August (see Coming Soon: Online Access to Australian Patent Prosecution Histories), is the provision of online access to documents relating to the prosecution of patent applications dating back to 2006 and which are open to public inspection (OPI). 


The prosecution history system, which IP Australia has called eDossier, enables the download of documents relating to a patent or application, including:

  1. requests for examination ;
  2. examination reports;
  3. responses to examination reports;
  4. amendments; and
  5. search results.
One interesting point we have noted is that the online search results information consists of an IP Australia Search Information Statement (SIS) document, that is not currently provided to patent applicants when an examination report is issued.  This document includes details of the examiner's search strategy, and a listing of documents identified in the search, but not relied upon in any objection in the examination report (i.e. category 'A' documents).

This could be pertinent, in particular, to meeting the requirements of foreign patent offices (particularly the USPTO) to disclose pertinent prior art information and/or to provide copies of search reports issued by other patent offices.  Now that this additional search information is publicly available, it would be at the very least prudent to obtain and disclose it to those patent offices having these types of requirement.

This enhanced search information will also be relevant when making requests for acclerated examination under a Patent Prosecution Highway program (e.g. at the USPTO) based upon accepted Australian patent claims.


IP Australia has indicated that a few gaps currently remain in the full-text patent specification records, and that they are working to fill these gaps.

A document will shortly be released listing all the affected applications.  The document will provide some basic bibliographic data that can be used to identify gaps specific to particular technology groups, and will be searchable..

Additional support documentation for the enhanced system is located in the AusPat v2.0 Help function.


Shin said...

You should really check out TotalPatent- LexisNexis just released it and the coverage and advancement of the technology is unbeleivable

Effectualkservices said...

Effectual Services is a Patent Research Outsourcing company that helps its clients draft and file both provisional and non-provisional patent applications. We also provide other Intellectual Property Services such as, patentability search, prior art search, freedom-to-operate search, invalidity search.

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