Filing for a patent is a complex but important process that can protect your intellectual property. You have to do research to ensure your idea is unique and determine whether the same or a similar patent already exists. The work can be time-consuming if the sources you need to reference are in different databases or websites. To help speed the process, IEEE partnered last year with IP.com, an intellectual property software and services company in Fairport, N.Y., to launch InnovationQ Plus.
The InnovationQ Plus database includes critical patent and non-patent literature for IP research. It’s also the only one that contains the more than 4 million articles, standards, and conference proceedings in the IEEE Xplore Digital Library. It indexes the full text of the IEEE documents, not just abstracts and bibliographies. Searching the full text is important because IEEE is cited by top patenting organizations three times more often than material from any other publisher, making it critical prior art—evidence that your invention is not a novel idea.
What’s more, there’s also IP.com’s own proprietary database of non-patent literature along with a database of 90 million patents and related information from 20 authorities around the world. They include the European Patent Office, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the World Intellectual Property Organization, with new authorities added frequently. All patents from Brazil, Sweden, Switzerland, and Taiwan were added recently.
“InnovationQ Plus is the most comprehensive patent search and analytics product on the market,” says Angela Trilli, associate director for IEEE analytics products. “It can provide a full picture of the technology landscape, so you can make critical decisions on R&D and IP, and how to get the most return on your innovation investments.”
But InnovationQ Plus offers more than just determining patentability, Trilli says, noting that its tools can help uncover areas where opportunities for innovation exist, or can analyze what technologies a competitor is working on.
Here are some of the product’s other features.
The InnovationQ Plus search engine is powered by IP.com’s neural network machine-learning technology. The system matches queries based on meaning rather than keywords—which reduces the time it takes to find information. In the query bar, users can type descriptive phrases, sentences, or full paragraphs, or paste wording from a patent application. The search engine sifts through the database to find the most relevant documents.
“Patent landscaping” is another feature. This analytics tool can look at a company’s portfolio of patents, as well as those of its competitors, to deliver insights into a company’s approach to technology and business.
“Looking at the patent landscape can help you decide whether to develop a technology, sell a patent, or perhaps partner with another company through licensing,” Trilli says.
The analysis could help determine, for example, whether to continue to pay maintenance fees to keep a patent active, to abandon a patent, or to sell it. Or the program could identify when it makes sense to license patent rights to another organization as a way to develop revenue. In such cases, the patent holder retains ownership of the invention and receives royalty payments on future sales of the product. There’s a big market for licensing technology, Trilli says.
You also could view a semantic map, a graphical model that helps analyze the landscape of existing patents to identify where new products or features are needed. The map also can show which technologies competitors are patenting—which could provide insight into a company’s business plans or an entire industry.
InnovationQ Plus is available as a subscription for engineers and patent professionals at companies, universities, and other organizations. You can sign up for a free demo.