Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I file a patent application? Can IFI CLAIMS® Help Me?

We don't provide patent preparation or filing assistance, but there are many resources available to guide you.

The USPTO has a useful page on Inventor and Entrepreneur Resources which describes the patent application process in the US. For information on filing in another country, we suggest you go to that country's national patent office web site. 

The process can be difficult. If you need help, we suggest you contact a patent attorney or patent agent in your area. 

How do I know if my invention is “novel”?

One place to start is with a patent search. You can follow up your patent search with additional web searches and scientific literature. Industry specific publications and regulations may also be highly relevant. 

How do I search patents?

There are many patent search options available, including Google Patents which uses our patent database. Free search services are also available from some national patent offices, including:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
The European Patent Office (EPO)
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
The State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO)  

Commercial search service providers offer paid subscriptions for patent search professionals. 

Can I search for patents on your website?

No, but you can search for patents on Google Patents which uses our patent database.

How is an integrated patent database different from a patent search system?

IFI CLAIMS offers a complete, integrated patent database with millions of documents provided in XML format. Our subscribers use the database in many ways—including but not limited to traditional search methods.

Having a complete patent database allows you to do the following things and more:

  • Deploy the patent database in your own data center and maintain complete privacy.
  • Deploy your own search technology or a technology not available from the commercial patent search providers.
  • Deploy data and text mining technologies to identify patterns and trends not discoverable by boolean or semantic search tools.
  • Employ machine learning or deep learning methods to discover hard to find information.
  • Integrate patents with other databases. 

IFI also provides a very strong patent search system as part of our API. 

Where do you get patent data for your database?

All of the data in CLAIMS Direct is obtained from publicly available records sources, such as government patent offices. For more information, visit our data collection page.

Can you remove or change my patent application or grant from CLAIMS Direct?

We are unable to remove or correct individual records. You should contact the patent office where your application was submitted and ask what their policies are. If you feel your patent application or grant was published incorrectly, or contains errors, you may want to enlist the help of your attorney or agent. 

I have filed a patent, but I don’t want the public to know about it. How do I prevent the public from seeing it?

IFI CLAIMS cannot remove a properly published patent application or grant unless it is removed by the relevant patent office. If you feel your patent application or grant was published by a patent office in error, you must contact the patent office. You may want to enlist an attorney or agent to help address a problem. 

But remember—your patent right requires a detailed public disclosure of your invention. 

How do I use CLAIMS Direct?

Companies and organizations license CLAIMS Direct by subscription. Read our deployment page for more information.

Is CLAIMS Direct software?

CLAIMS Direct isn't software, it's a patent data web service built on the IFI CLAIMS global patent database. It provides developers and researches high quality global patent data, a developer-friendly API, and few licensing restrictions.

What does the CLAIMS Direct user interface look like?

IFI CLAIMS does not offer a conventional patent search application or a user interface in the same way that other providers do. We make our global patent database available through on-site installation or our cloud-based API. Our subscribers develop their own user interfaces if that is appropriate. 

We do offer a web based testing system. This is available to subscribers and during a free trial.