Patent search site

A comprehensive Web site for searches of patents related to packaging and everything else.

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Our recent analysis of the packaging litigation between Procter & Gamble and Kraft Foods over coffee packaging (On packaging, patents, and protection, https://www.packworld.com/view-24140) got me thinking about patents. That thought process led me to the Web site of PatentStorm.com (www.patentstorm.us), where you can search to your heart’s desire for anything patent related, including packaging.

According to the site, “PatentStorm offers patents from the US Patent Office, including full-text patent search. Whether you are an inventor, a patent attorney, a patent agent or just curious about how things work, this site is for you.

Today, we have all patents from January 1990 forward. Soon, we will provide the most comprehensive source of free patent information on the Web.”

Each patent citation includes Abstract, Claims, Description, and Full Text.

Packaging patents

For example, a search for “barrier package” yielded 872 citations, and “smart label” yielded 38.

Like most good sites, you end up branching out once you’re in. For example, I discovered that Cryovac div. Sealed Air Corp. is credited with 227 patents, including 14 in 2007 (as of Dec. 20). The company’s most recent patent was 7303123, a “Method of labeling an item for item-level identification.”

Far more prolific is consumer goods powerhouse Procter & Gamble, which for the month of November 2007 alone was issued 33 patents. All told, P&G has been issued more than 4,600 patents, according to the site. In early December, P&G was issued patent 7302783. According to the abstract, this is “a method for filling a package for compressible flat articles. The method includes the steps of arranging a stack of articles to be received inside the package, compressing the stack, opening and tenting the bottom of the package, and charging the package with the stack by pushing the stack through the open bottom of the package.”

There's also a useful Links page.

The Patentstorm search engine is good and impressively up to date, but not entirely convenient. You cannot search directly by company, though you can find it in two easy steps. Less helpful is that a search yields results that are not listed by most recent date; rather, it appears to be a random listing. But if you are willing to look around a bit, you can likely drill down to what you are looking for. It's also a fascinating site to wander in. It definitely is comprehensive, and it is free.
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