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June 06, 2008


Although some of the features of this search engine are interesting, it's patent searching abilities are sub-par at best.

First, it doesn't actually search "all issued U.S. patents." At best it only does the USPTO's electronic range of 1976 to present. Google patents clearly wins in this regard.

Second, in a search of patents issued from 1976 to present having the term "dielectrophoresis" Espresso only found ~220 issued patents while Google patents found over 290.


As the CTO of Emerjent, I'd like to address your comments about Espresso:

1. We never claim to search "all issued US patents". The wording on our About page is actually as follows: "all US issued patents (1976-present)". To alleviate any potential confusion, we will remove the "all" to make the extent of our data collection more clear.

Also, we should point out that while we do not have any patents before 1976, Google does not have any patents issued after January 1, 2008. On the contrary, Espresso is updated daily so that you always get the most recent patents, which we think are much more vital to a prior art search than those issued before 1976.

2. In order to balance search speed and result quality, we made the decision to cut off the total number of patents (issued + applications) at 500, at least for this early version of the application (although we do show the total number of patents found on the IP tab). Google also does the same, by the way, but their cutoff number seems arbitrary, as it changes with every search (and they never give the total number of patents found). We will add some text to our help page so this is clear to users.

For more discussion on the problems with Google Patents, see the comments to this blog post: http://gaussling.wordpress.com/2008/01/13/google-patent-search/. For example, for "dielectrophoresis", Google gives 355 total patents (issued + applications) while a search on the USPTO site gives 1223.

Our goal is to make Espresso the best product it can be, and we would like to work with users directly as much as possible to make this happen. Therefore, we encourage anyone with concerns or suggestions to contact us at [email protected].

Seems ok, but the assited search took me a minute to understand how to use. I didn't know I was going to have to hit "add" to put the term in the terms I wanted to search. Surely you could simplify that down to just what is put in the box.

From my first usage of the site I approve this product.

You can send my endorsement check to the Jefferson building and have the security gaurd hold it for e6k.

I would also recommend checking out http://patentssearcher.com, which has great ranking and extra features.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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