Wednesday, October 17, 2007

SparkIP Launches Clustered Patent Search Site

SparkIP launched a beta exchange "designed for scientists/inventors, universities, government labs, corporations, patent attorneys, and anyone doing research on patented or emerging technologies." Unlike conventional search sites, SparkIP offers "SparkCluster maps" which are designed to give structure and context to the vast amounts of information available.

The clusters are self-organizing and self-naming, which allows the maps reflect the latest terminologies. The site claims that there are over 49,000 SparkClusters, with more added each month, covering over 3.5 million US patents going back to the late 1960s. Plans are in the works to add patent applications, international patents, and other data.

It's an interesting concept and potentially useful tool for people that engage in "landscaping," and one colleague already commented that the site provided good ideas for capturing alternate or additional technology spaces during the patent drafting process. The site also plans to beef-up a licensing component that would allow potential purchasers to locate suitable technologies.

Check out SparkIP here.

See coverage from the Patent Baristas here.

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