Mind the Gap: Connecting Your Application to a Patent Data Source

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For developers using patent data to create an application, or for analysts using patent data to generate insights, it is important to Mind the Gap. The gap I am talking about is the gap between your application and your patent data source. 

The wrong patent data source can make your project much more difficult than it needs to be. Some of the common problems are:

  • Inconsistent Formats: Data from different national authorities is not formatted in a consistent style. This requires the application developer to spend valuable time writing file specific parsers and formatting code.
  • Incomplete Data & Data with Errors: Raw data may be missing fields and may contain errors.  XML tagging errors are common. Dealing with these problems requires the application developer to spend valuable time writing error checking code.
  • Multiple Data Files: A full text patent data file does not normally contain legal status, reassignments or useful international filing information from DocDB. This data is available from the national authorities but must be integrated into the full text records in order to establish legal context for the patent text. Again, this consumes valuable developer resources. 
  • PDFs and Drawing Pages: In addition to the patent text, the graphics can be very important to the users of your application. Pulling these files and making them easily retrievable is a big job. 

It often takes multiple developer-years to create a usable international patent database from the national authorities.  This development cost can dwarf the acquisition cost of the data.  The cost of filling in the ‘Gap’ can be very high. 

IFI CLAIMS solves this problem with CLAIMS Direct. CLAIMS Direct offers application developers a fully integrated and consistently formatted patent database that is ready to use.  There is no need to write parsing or error-checking code.  The CLAIMS Direct delivery platform provides developers with either a cloud-based API data search and retrieval system, or an on-site database that is automatically kept up to date.  Whether in the Cloud, or on-site, CLAIMS Direct lets developers focus on their application and the needs of their users—not patent data cleanup.  Retrieving PDFs and drawings is easily accomplished using IFI’s attachment API. 

Consider how much data clean up and integration will be required when choosing a patent data source.

Before starting your patent application or data integration project, contact IFI CLAIMS. We will be happy to provide you with detailed information on our global patent data coverage and delivery platform.