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Using the Right Search Tool for Patent Peace of Mind

Using the Right Search Tool for Patent Peace of Mind

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Using the Right Search Tool for Patent Peace of Mind

Nov 8, 2021

Henk Heus
Business professional using a laptop

Considering the sums of money and long periods of time that are part and parcel of research and clinical trials, ensuring that your IP is patentable from the outset is crucial.  But, determining this is easier said than done and is highly dependent on you having access to complete and accurate information, something that can be distinctly hard to come by. What’s needed is a powerful, cost-effective and exhaustive method of searching for IP around biological sequences, providing the reassurance you need.

But why are exhaustive IP sequence searches so difficult to achieve and where do the problems lie?

Well, when you file a life science patent application at the USPTO, you’re asked to put all sequences into a specifically formatted list to help the examiners. What results is an ‘ST.25 listing’, which simplifies the process of collecting all sequences submitted to the office over time. Ideally, every inventor and every patent office would follow this method, but, unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

Multiple Missing Sequences

In actual fact, very few patent offices across the globe have official sequence-filing rules in place. And, even if they do, they’re frequently ignored. This means that sequences can be found anywhere in a patent—inside the text, in tables or even as part of the figures. And the consequence for your search? Well, if your search parameters only span the ST.25 sequence listings, you’re almost certainly going to miss out on a great deal of relevant sequences.

But, when it comes to the number of sequences that can be found outside of the official ST.25 listings, how many is a great deal and is it actually a problem? In short, yes. It’s quite possible that you could be missing more than 40% of US, WO, EP, JP, KR patent documents containing sequences.

It’s of course possible to download some ST.25 sequence listings and index them for BLAST search, but this approach isn’t ideal either.  You’ll miss out on real business-critical sequences, as they’re all located in text, tables and figures that aren’t indexed. For example, one patent assignee in our patent sequence database saw 53% of its patent applications with sequences hidden in the text, tables and figures. These are all documents that would never have been found in ST.25 listings.

Comprehensive, Accurate Patent Sequence Searching

In light of these fundamental barriers to comprehensive patent sequence searching, Aptean developed its GenomeQuest PAT Database. Having found and indexed every sequence, we use proprietary algorithms to flag documents where there’s even the smallest of chances they contain sequences. These flagged documents are then curated manually to confirm that there actually are sequences in there and then they’re captured. Our curator teams also verify additional information, such as the SEQ ID NO, and whether or not a sequence is mentioned in the claims.

Not only have we examined the entire backfile of over 120 million historical patents for sequences but we continuously process new patents that are being published. As well as 40% more US, WO, EP, JP, KR patents, we’ve also indexed over 200,000 documents from authorities in China, Canada, India and Brazil—documents that you won’t easily find anywhere else. All of these measures ensure that our patent database contains the most comprehensive, up-to-date sequence information available today.  

In combination with a user-friendly search interface and market-leading customer support, our content sets us apart from the crowd. Via our GQ-PAT database, we deliver the comprehensive content you need to perform truly exhaustive patent sequence searches. This gives you peace of mind, safe in the knowledge that you’re no longer missing crucial patent sequences in your searches.

To ensure you’re not missing crucial information in your patent sequence searches, get in touch today to find out how Aptean GenomeQuest can help.

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If you’re ready to improve your patent office research, we’d love to help.

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