Dr. Ali Berkin is an organic chemist and an associate at the law firm of Haug Partners LLP. He specializes in patents relating to small/large molecules and pharmaceutical products and dosage forms, giving him a deep knowledge base in the pharmaceutical industry. His knowledge is applied to prosecution, due diligence, and litigation matters.
Dr. Berkin is also an expert in patent and literature searches and renders legal opinions to the firm’s pharmaceutical clients. He relies on PatBase and Chemical Explorer as indispensable tools in his daily work.
Previously, Dr. Berkin utilised specialised chemical patent searching platforms that incurred substantial costs for the firm. Dr. Berkin sought an alternative solution that would be more cost-effective while maintaining the quality of the platform.
Fortunately, in 2017, during his attendance at the PIUG conference, Dr. Berkin discovered Minesoft and commenced a trial of PatBase.
Minesoft's subscription-based services immediately brought significant cost savings to the firm and their clients compared to their previous providers. Beyond the cost advantage, Dr. Berkin found PatBase to be more feature-rich, comprehensive, and user-friendly. It had many advantages over what he was using previously.
"Other solutions we tried were more manual; in PatBase, it's just click-click, and it's done for you."
With PatBase's family-based structure, Dr. Berkin found it beneficial to have all INPADOC related family members grouped together, reducing duplication during searches. Dr. Berkin appreciated the ability to search specific parts of a document, such as the specification, and easily review the Key Word In Context with the automatic highlighting tool. The direct feed from the USPTO and links to view file history, maintenance history, and continuity data streamlined his workflow, eliminating the need to visit the USPTO website. In addition, the sub-account option allowed easy monitoring of the number of searches conducted for different clients.
Dr. Berkin was pleasantly surprised by the effectiveness of the Chemical Explorer module in PatBase. He often utilises Chemical Explorer as a standalone database for structure searches, finding it ideal for quick queries. The ability to search for exact, substructure, and similar structures is key for developing robust chemical search strategies, all for a low yearly fee compared to other databases.
The TextMine tool simplifies reviewing results, allowing him to swiftly identify the location of hit structures within the patent document.
"It's an amazing feature that no one else has—it makes my job so much easier."
His clients appreciate the tables he is able to export, especially when hyperlinked patent numbers are included. It means his clients can easily click and review PDFs of patents themselves.
Progress and Impact:
Starting with a single PatBase and Chemical Explorer seat, Dr. Berkin introduced PatBase to colleagues, and it has now become the most widely used search tool within the firm. The Haug Partners Paralegal department also relies on Minesoft's PatDocs, with the Family Tree feature being a standout, a tool that visually represents priority relationships of a patent family in a style similar to a genealogy tree (in one click!). The user-friendly interface of PatDocs is particularly appreciated by occasional users. Dr. Berkin conducts training sessions on PatDocs for paralegals, and they have enthusiastically embraced and regularly use the tool.
"It's so self-evident how to use it. The learning curve is very small because everything's there in front of you. It's so perfect!"
The learning curve for Minesoft solutions is notably smaller compared to other databases, and Dr. Berkin has found them straightforward to use. While he has not required extensive training from the Minesoft Support team, their prompt assistance with workarounds and queries has been invaluable. Minesoft's commitment to ongoing improvement is evident through regular solution updates, with a receptive attitude towards client feedback.
"They listen to their clients in terms of developing and upgrading the product. You can tell that PatBase was designed by patent search professionals for patent search professionals."
As a result of transitioning to Minesoft, Haug Partners continues to realise cost savings through subscription-based solutions and increased productivity. Being able to look at a thousand-page document and go straight to keywords or structures of interest means that Dr. Berkin can efficiently locate the information he needs, allowing him to allocate more time to other essential tasks.
"PatBase is a great platform; the functionality and cost are superior to other databases, and the structure searching is a powerful tool."
The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of Dr. Ali Berkin and do not represent the views and opinions of Haug Partners LLP.
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