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IBM Patent Database Created

PatentCafe Sets Up Database of 500 Patents

A California outfit by the name of PatentCafe has set up a database of the 500 patents that IBM has pledged to open up to open source developers claiming its natural language-based search engine will accelerate developers' use of the patents.

PatentCafe warns that developers "still need to remain vigilant even if using the information in a pledged IBM patent" since their software programs "could still be found to infringe a different company's patent," which kinda mitigates its utility.

The outfit says it intends to enlarge the project to search open source software patents worldwide. Developers are supposed to be able to create a hierarchical list of the most relevant patents and find the patents most related to their software projects.

PatentCafe says natural language search queries describe the concept of the software functions developers are looking for. By comparison, the US Patent and Trademark Office's search engine can only return patents that literally match keywords used in the search query. PatentCafe said its semantic analysis patent search will identify the most relevant of IBM's 500 patents in seconds.

It said the IBM patents were granted between January of 1993 and December of 2001 and software terms and industry jargon changed during this time, making many patents difficult to find if the searcher uses keywords that don't exactly match words contained in the older patents. For instance, the term "business method" was not a common term used in the early 1990s.

PatentCafe's Latent Semantic Analysis engine employs a Concept Space, or "patent-smart" neural net that the computer has created by "learning" the concepts while indexing more than 23 million patents, currently one of the world's largest patent databases.

It's unclear whether PatentCafe's own interpretive technology is patented or licensed.

PatentCafe CEO Andy Gibbs says developers "can copy in a search query containing a 100-word functional software specification and instantly retrieve a relevancy-ranked list of the most appropriate IBM patents - something no legacy patent search engine will allow."

See http://www.IAMcafe.com

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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