Survey of PCT search reports and the importance of the internet as a source of non-patent literature
Previous studies of the internet as prior art in patentability searching have concentrated on the difficulty of establishing a date of publication and a stable form of citation. The current work examines whether the internet is actually contributing new prior art, or merely replicating non-patent literature which can be obtained by other means. A sample of PCT international applications published in 2007 provides some evidence that certain ISAs are more effective in locating and citing internet-based non-patent literature than others. The sample also reinforces the widespread perception that non-patent literature forms a higher proportion of total citations in distinct technical fields. Some recommendations are made about bibliographic control of internet disclosures, and the methods of citation in search reports which are the most helpful for third parties wishing to locate the cited work.
► Value-add internet citations in PCT Search Reports. ► Found: some ISAs more effective than others in this area. ► Found: internet citations provide 2% of new material in citations. ► Confirmed: NPLs more significant in certain technical areas. ► Recommended: better bibliographic control and archiving policies needed.
Journal: World Patent Information - Volume 34, Issue 2, June 2012, Pages 112–123