Reference from Coast to Coast - One-Stop Shopping for Patent Information

Chris Klobucar, Reference Librarian
Katten Muchin & Zavis, Chicago

Welcome to Reference From Coast to Coast: Sources and Strategies, a new monthly column written by the KMZ librarians. Headquartered in Chicago, Katten Muchin & Zavis has reference librarians in Washington DC, Chicago and Los Angeles. There are eight professional librarians who are assisted by a great support staff. The KMZ librarians field questions and participate in research in a myriad of subject areas. This column will highlight some of our favorite reference sources and research techniques in the hope that sharing information  will help you in your day to day jobs. We welcome all of your comments and questions, and would particularly like feedback on sources and strategies that YOU use for research on our column topics. 

Please send comments to the author.

It's Friday at 4:45 pm and I'm cleaning off my desk in preparation for my trip to Jamaica when the phone rings. It's a partner who immediately needs all patent information on XYZ Corporation to close a billion dollar deal. He needs all patents that have been reassigned, reexamined and reinstated. Sounds like a tall order but I'm not worried. The Dialog files 652, 653, 654 offer one-stop shopping for this information; they make up Dialog's U.S. Patents Fulltext Databases. The dates covered in the files range from 1971 to the present.

I log on to Dialog, type in the file numbers and am ready to conduct my search. Almost 95 percent of the time, my attorneys have a company name they need searched. In Dialog, I can use the "co" (for company) field restrictor and expand on the company name. The "co" restrictor includes the patent assignee's name as well as the assignee post issuance. Print format 7 will give me the bibliographic citation, claims, all legal status fields and an abstract of the actual patent. Print format 9 will print the full record. I can print out the information or download to a disk and send via email. Ten minutes later, I'm on my way out the door!

Please remember, there are other ways to complete this search request; this just happens to be my favorite. Consult the Dialog Bluehseets for other searching and printing options.

What's you're favorite patent searching tool?  Send comments and suggestions to reference4@llrx.com.