Patent Tools: Online Patent Search and Analysis Tool Suite

  • One-stop research & analysis tool
  • Seamless integration with the processing engine
  • Search of intellectual property related studies and analysis
  • Planning, analyzing and managing patent portfolio
Expertise
Business Intelligence
Verticals
Consulting

nxn Tech teams up with Iflexion for the development of a unique

online patent search and analysis tool suite – Patent Tools

Calendar
1
Duration
Year
Gears
15
Efforts
Person-months

Context

The Customer — nxn Tech based in Dallas — is a recognized technology service company operating in the areas of advanced search, data matching, predictive analytics and data mining solutions for a variety of US local government and private industry organizations.

Iflexion proved to be a proficient and reliable partner that over several years provided the Customer with turnkey software solutions allowing to apply the benefits of the SaaS model and maintain a competitive advantage. Extensive technical software development expertise in providing web development services coupled with proven relationship prompted the Customer to team up with Iflexion for the development of a unique suite of patent search software with analytical capabilities – Patent Tools.

Objectives

The innovative web service — Patent Tools — was envisioned to be a one-stop resource for the intellectual property (IP) community serving lawyers, investors and decision makers.

The objective for the team was to create a comprehensive web-based patent search software that would retrieve and process patent related information with direct control over the patent claim lifecycle. The web service supports subscriptions and helps:

  • Easily locate the needed patent information and related documentation
  • Surf throughout interrelated entities thanks to rich navigation capabilities
  • Visualize entity relationships and related activities history

The Customer’s proprietary data warehouse together with the comprehensive analytical engine represents the nucleus of the system. Iflexion developed a highly scalable web application consisting of three main components:

  • Seamless integration with the processing engine
  • Rich visualization engine
  • Comprehensive search engine

From the user point of view, the system serves the following goals:

  • Search of intellectual property related studies and analysis
  • Planning, analyzing and managing patentportfolio
  • Informational support in IP-related trial procedures

Development Process

As long as the main objective for the team was to consolidate a number of tools into a single information access point addressing huge volume of data streams and user activity challenge, the great emphasis was put on the solution’s architecture design. After the project vision and architectural solution have become clear, the team conceptualized a feature-rich and commercially viable solution based on:

  • High usability focusing on the application’s ability to flexibly match individual user search and navigation requirements and preferences thus ensuring quick access to the information needed
  • High performance and load resistance so that a growing number of concurrent users could comfortably work with a great variety of documents and navigate smoothly over the application interface
  • High functional scalability so that the system could easily adapt to the functional extensions and improvements in the future

The development process was based on an RAD methodology executed under Agile project management and involved intensive sketching, prototyping and customer communication. Relatively short development sprints were followed with a set of corrective QA activities to ensure high quality deliverables.

Major features

Patent Family Tree

Provides users with a cohesive and relevant picture view of patent instances (division patents, continuation patents, original specifications, etc.) covering the same invention group or business domain. It includes metadata (e.g. patent number, title, issue date, etc.) linked to the relevant information, comprehensive entity relationship visualization, discovered references, amendments, etc. Information can be filtered and sorted by a number of attributes and allows users to navigate across the entities, groups and logical levels.

Related Art Analysis

Allows revealing patents, applications and online scientific literature listings that are potentially relevant to a subject. Visual depiction and timeline association (based on a tailored analysis of complex patent search results) makes it easier to decipher large volumes of information.

Search Engine

The search engine processes a wide array of search criteria and methods that enable users to perform comprehensive patent searches and assist them in identifying information blocks. Easy-to-use search interface enables thousands of users to perform:

  • General content search (searches for patents by content and keywords)
  • Patent/application number search (searches for a single patent or patent application by its corresponding number)
  • Advanced content search (searches for patents applying a range of filters)

Patent Calls not only extracts relevant information from patents, it also crawls patent literature and allows categorizing search results.

Results

Patent Tools web application became a full-fledged toolset for the IP business community. 

Within a short period of time Patent Tools became the most referred online innovative and time-saving patent research software solution. On the onset of the project the Customer was very optimistic, and after the project went live Iflexion appeared to exceed their initial expectations.

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