I was doing some patent searching the other day and came across this patent search/analysis tool at see-the-forest.com.
While the site has limited use for those who are not paid subscribers, what it does offer can still fit the bill for many situations.
The search engine does a decent job of finding patents, but what I really like are the graphical depictions of the data that’s mined.
I suggest you check out a great example of a sample search located here. It looks at the evolution of the ‘car airbag chip’ patent -what types of patents were cited by it, and how it was cited by other patents. Here’s another example of 100 patents that came up from searching with the term ‘nano’. I like how even a basic search can give you some great ideas and perspectives on the overall landscape and how it’s changed and continues to change. Clusters are pretty obvious as are inter-relations between patents.
If you register you are also provided a workbench area where you can see the details of the various patents and do some tweaking of searches and additional analyses.
I do suggest you check out their blog as there are more case studies depicted there.
If there’s one thing that I don’t like, it’s that I can’t grab patent numbers or text using ‘highlight, copy, paste’ to move info around. It’s an interface thing that bugs me because it forces me to remember the info or click-through to the Google page and copy a number from there to do another search. While I can export search results to Excel, and there are ways to do further searches on the workbench page, the ability to be able to ‘highlight and copy’ is something that would make this even cleaner to use.
All in all, a useful site and one that I’ve already gotten some value from.
Check it out and let me know what you think of it.