Can a virtual marking web site have search?
For patentees with large numbers of products, the searchable virtual marking registry has proven to be the most useful approach to implementing virtual marking. Rather than providing a massive, comprehensive list of product names and model numbers, the consumer or competitor visits the registry and can search by key word to find a specific product and related patents. (Learn what design options are available for virtual patent marking.)
In a typical implementation, individuals search the database by a keyword, product name, brand, UPC number, model number, etc. On the results page, they can then click on a specific product or model to view patent data for that product on its specific product-listing page.
The searchable format requires that the search query be broad and the results page includes as many “matching” results as possible. Some search registry sites let the user enter a UPC number to find products, while others rely on keyword searches across several relevant fields. One example of this format is from St. Jude Medical’s virtual marking registry, available at patent.sjmneuro.com who allows the user to search by product number, name or keyword.
The searchable registry format requires the patentee to have a robust set of data points within the database that is being indexed to ensure the user finds the appropriate information. If a database lacks appropriate searchable content, and a competitor or consumer cannot find the specific or relevant product, that user could claim they did not receive notice.
What if a product by the patentee does not have any claimed patents? In these scenarios, most patentees have elected to show no results for a product that lacks a patent claim. For instance, if Model X is a product of the company and a competitor searches for “Model X” on the registry, the search results would display nothing because no patent claims are being made.)
What about existing products in the registry whose patents have expired? After the database is updated accordingly, the product no longer appears in the registry’s search results. (Learn more about security and data tracking for your virtual marking registry.)