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If you’re an innovator you should be regularly accessing a patent database as patents are often early indicators of emerging technologies. With almost 8 million patents filed worldwide in 2021, patent searching and analysis can provide actionable insights for businesses, allowing them to make strategic decisions from idea conception to monetisation. But with patent information being freely available on National and Regional patent offices and many free-of-charge patent databases, why should you invest in a commercial patent database?

Although free databases provide basic searching functionalities, the strength of a commercial patent database, like Minesoft’s PatBase, is in searching for various combinations of search criteria and the ability to present results in a visual and easily digestible way. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the top reasons why you should invest in a commercial patent database from the point of view of different stakeholders.


Internal IP teams and patent searchers

If you’re an IP or patent specialist, you’re most likely perform patentability searches to verify the inventiveness or novelty of an idea. Whilst free databases are adequate in order to look up a specific patent number, their search capabilities can be very limited.

The advanced search capabilities in PatBase allow users to perform complex search queries, as well as combine these with previous queries to discover patents that may otherwise be missed with a simple number search. The ability to save results into private or shared folders enables users to easily pick up where they left off and seamlessly work across group projects with colleagues with their own PatBase IDs. Not only does this facilitate collaboration across projects but also reduces the time spent on searching across different sources.


R&D teams and non-IP experts

It is a common misconception that R&D teams and non-IP experts need not worry about patent searching or understanding patent data. However, in the European Commission’s report “Why researchers should care about patents” it is estimated that up to 30% of all R&D spending is wasted on redeveloping existing solutions. Giving your R&D team access to a commercial database with an in-built analysis tool will allow them to perform quick keyword searches and understand the data in a visual way. They can then pass their findings on to patent attorneys or IP teams for verification and potentially save copious amounts of time and money.

PatBase Express pulls from the exact same data as PatBase. The simplified interface is perfect for performing initial searches, making this the ideal database for R&D professionals. PatBase Analytics V3, the powerful analysis tool, allows users to produce charts and graphs to understand the data in a visual way, enabling non-IP experts to make strategic business decisions regarding innovations.

patent landscape analysis

Keyword patent landscape for search query TAC=electric vehicle, generated by PatBase Analytics V3.


Patent attorneys, IP law firms and patent offices

Patent attorneys and IP law firms are no strangers to producing freedom-to-operate searches and reports for their clients. Having access to a commercial patent database that not only has advanced searching functionalities to ensure the FTO search is thorough but also excellent exporting features enables professionals to automate processes and save valuable time.

PatBase allows users to export the publication information of a patent family, as well as the associated images straight into a word, excel or PDF document. Within PatBase Analytics V3 users can easily edit, annotate and download an analytics report to include alongside the FTO export from PatBase. Automating these processes will help to improve efficiency and save valuable time.


Universities and technology transfer offices

Universities and technology transfer offices will likely need to know the state of the art in a technology area or how specific technical areas have evolved over time as part of their research. Although it is common for research and academic institutes to rely on research papers, most technological advances are actually first reported in patents. Performing patentability searches during the pre-development phase of their invention, as well as drawing insights from a patent landscape analysis can help guide their research. Additionally, patent searches can help identify industry partners who could help commercialise a prototype and spot licensing opportunities.

Not only does PatBase allow users to search for patent literature but there is also a module available to search non-patent literature, ideal for research institutes who might need to perform searches across both areas. PatBase Analytics V3 can help produce patent landscape analyses in a visual way, making the patent data easy to understand.

keyword highlighting in patent text generated by commercial patent database PatBase

Keyword highlighting allowing to quickly identify relevant areas within the patent text.


Minesoft is the leading global patent information solutions provider. From avid patent searchers to patent attorneys and even non-IP experts, we can help your team automate processes, understand patent data and stay ahead of the curve. For more information on our suite of patent information solutions visit our website.