Engineering Village is not something I use on a regular basis, so I was delighted to be introduced to a feature I was unaware of — the ability to do some pretty exotic analysis of the patent literature. Take a company that is secretive about its patent portfolio. Search the company as an assignee. At the right of your screen are various screens that let you drill down into available patents, one of which is the most prolific inventors from that company. Now you take those persons and search whatever patents they have irrerespective of assignee. This can give a fuller picture of the company’s future product plans, based on patents of its employees. Or you can drill down via patent classification codes to see areas of interest. You can extend the search by searching Compendex, Inspec, and NTIS in addition to the patents.
Here’s what I really like — RSS feeds. Somebody cites a patent in their patent and you get notification by RSS feed. That’s not all. If you’ve got a blog and you want to talk about the implications of this patent activity, there’s a button to take you immediately to your blog. This is so cool.
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