August 21, 2011

Visual Guide to finding prior patent art with Sumobrain

SumoBrain is one of the best search engines for finding previous patent prior art.

And it already has a great Search Tutorial.

Let's try an Advanced search by following the link at the near the top, below the the search box.
Advanced Search has a helpful syntax and formatting guide to assist in our search.

We'll search for 'touch screen camera focus' and restrict by the patent's publish date.
From the syntax guide we know how to restrict our search results by publish date:

Most importantly Advanced search allows us to include Japan's patent abstracts, US patents and applications, European Patent Office, and the World Intellectual Property Organization.
Being able to search Japan's abstracts, the EPO's, the WIPO, and US patents abstracts, the EPO makes SumoBrain one of the best free resources for finding prior patent art.
Let's check out one of the results, Image Pick-up Apparatus invented by Hirokazu Sato looks good.
Instead of charging for its services SumoBrain has advertising, but all the bibliographic, abstract, and more are here if you scroll down.
Sumobrain's abstract also includes the patent's claims.  

You can download the entire patent directly from SumoBrain by following the link above the claims.

One of the coolest features of SumoBrain are it's list this patents citations and patents that reference it.  If it's on SumoBrain there will be a link to it.  Unlike Google Patents only has US patents and applications, SumoBrain will include a list of Foreign References as well.  If SumoBrain doesn't have them, Espacenet and PatentScope might.

There's also a guide with examples of using SumoBrain's international citation list and searching for an EPO patent to download.

Back to Patent-Ed's Visual Guides to finding prior art  >>

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