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Looking back--the Online Patent Information column

By Stuart M. Kaback


For 13 years, the author contributed a column to this publication, under the rubric Online Patent Information. A reexamination of those columns provides some insights regarding developments in the art of patent searching between 1983 and 1995. Significant, recurring themes included: crossfile searching, citation searching, Markush structure searching, polymer indexing, database coverage problems--including the need to consider both claims and description, searching unfamiliar art, pitfalls of natural language searching, the need for indexing, communication among database users and providers, and multidimensional search strategies. Also covered in the columns were regular surveys of progress in the industry and profession of online patent information provision and use, and the possible ways in which they might further develop.Online patent information Database developments Database searching Crossfile searching Citation searching Markush structure searching Polymer indexing Database coverage Natural language searching Industry progress surveys Multidimensional search strategies

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