Espacenet, Patentscope and Depatisnet: A comparison approachby Björn Jürgens, Victor Herrero-Solana

World Patent Information



De e a ars liar alys xpo not be 1. Introduction ve evo ext on n a cos search charg o a wi few ye l featu l prov professional and free online databases in 2000. The more recent studies are from Stock [4] and Gonzalez & Zuleta [5], both of which compared some commercial providers with various free providers.

None of the studies focused on free of charge sources or gave a direct comparison of their features and functionalities. hem according to of a study about gements section), nd weaknesses of ir potential use for this study. 2. Material and methods

Espacenet, Patentscope and Depatisnet are all accessible via links on the homepage of their corresponding patent authorities (; and Furthermore they can be accessed via their direct webpages, Espacenet being the only one with its own domain ( whereas * Corresponding author.

E-mail addresses: (B. Jürgens),

Contents lists availab

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World Patent Information 42 (2015) 4e12(V. Herrero-Solana).which compare these databases. Many studies have become outdated or do not include a description of sources that are free of charge. Smith [1] compared online host patent databases available in the late eighties, Lambert [2] compared online host databases and the upcoming Internet patent databases in the late nineties and

Schwander [3] evaluated patent searching resources comparing added in recent years and directly compared t four key aspects outlined in Section 2.

The study was completed in the framework nanotechnology patents in Spain (see Acknowled in order to find out more about the strengths a these patent search systems and to evaluate theWhen it comes to understanding more about the advantages and disadvantages of patent databases, few studies are available

In this study we analysed these patent search systems, taking into account all of their new features and functionalities which wereOnline patent search systems ha the last two decades; from cryptic ‘t bases accessible viamodem dial-up o to today's sophisticated web-based the Internet which are often free of made patent information popular t substantially improved over the last search functionalities and additiona ously only available from commercia 0172-2190/© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.lved considerably over ly’ command-line datatly pay per record basis, systems accessible via e. These free databases der audience and have ars, now offering patent res which were previiders.

Regarding free patent and open access sources, Espacenet, from the European Patent Office (EPO), Patentscope from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Depatisnet from the

German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) are all patent search systems offered by major patent authorities which do not only cover their own patent collection, but also collections from a multitude of countriesemaking them one of the most popular free of charge patent searching tools available.

Although there are many similarities between these three products, it is of interest to know more about each database in order to choose the right one for the purpose of the patent search.Espacenet, Patentscope and Depatisnet:

Bj€orn Jürgens a, Victor Herrero-Solana b, * a CITPIA PATLIB Centre, Agency of Innovation and Development of Andalusia, Seville, Sp b SCImago-UGR (SEJ036), Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain a r t i c l e i n f o

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Available online 12 June 2015


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Espacenet, Patentscope and patent authorities which ar improved in the last few ye is useful for those unfami following aspects were an records and patent data e compared in the field of na searching, Patentscope the journal homepage: www.ecomparison approach patisnet are known as the main multinational patent databases offered by vailable to the public free of charge. As all three systems have substantially , a comparison of their functionalities and capabilities, as discussed herein, with the recent developments. In order to present the comparison, the ed: data coverage, search functionality, result list, bibliographic view of rt options. Case studies are presented where the search systems were echnology. The analysis concludes that Espacenet has the best features for st for analysis and Depatisnet the best for complex search tasks. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.le at ScienceDirect

Information vier .com/locate/worpat in

Patentscope and Depatisnet are accessible on subdomains of the patent authority's homepages ( and

Regarding the analysis methods used to compare all three patent searching systems, a direct comparison was made during the period of JulyeSeptember 2014 by taking into account their functionalities and features.

The following aspects were analysed:  Data coverage  Search functionality  Result list of records  Bibliographic view  Patent data export

This direct comparison makes it easier to see the differences of

B. Jürgens, V. Herrero-Solana / World Peach product and helps a user to understand the special features of each analysed patent search system. 3. Results 3.1. Data coverage comparison

Before starting a patent search it is crucial to know the country coverage of the database, since it is of no use if a database has a good search feature but does not offer coverage for the country the searcher is interested in. Therefore, first of all, the patent data coverage of Espacenet, Patentscope and Depatisnet was analysed.

The data for this analysis was extracted from dedicated webpages provided by the corresponding patent authorities containing statistical information about the databases [6e8].

As seen in Fig. 1 both Espacenet Worldwide Database and

Depatisnet currently covers nearly 90 million patent documents, whichmakes them the two free of charge patent databaseswith the largest coverage. Patentscope has a substantially lower coverage with 37 million documents, but according to WIPO [9] the record counting in the Patentscope statistics is one record per invention and not per publication (e.g. patent application and patent grant) so we estimate that the comparable figures of Patentscope are 30% higher. Patentscope therefore covers approximately 50 million documents, still significantly less than Espacenet and Depatisnet.