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IBM Research - Almaden
IBM Patent Server Project

Past Project
On January 9, 1997, IBM launched the IBM Patent Server, a free publicly available website for search and retrieval of U.S. Patent bibliographic data and text of all claims for over two million patents issued from 1971 through 1996.

Developed at IBM's Almaden Research Center, the site also enabled browsing of scanned images of entire patents which were added over time. Several favorable news articles were written about the site, including ones in the New York Times, Newsweek (February 3, 1997), and Communications Week.


The Patent Server was a testbed of large-scale database and image server technologies for use as a high-volume webserver.
The site used IBM's Net.Data program to interface to the DB2 Common Server database to store and retrieve 24 Gigabytes of patent text information. All systems were run on IBM RS/6000 and SP servers using the AIX operating system. The content was delivered to the Internet via the IBM Global Network.


The Almaden Patent Server System was being developed by IBM's Almaden Research Center. The Almaden Digital Library team built an electronic patent library for providing easier access to patent information at a lower cost than other on-line systems. The library provided every IBM employee world-wide the ability to search, view, print, download or fax any U.S. patent from their desktop via an internet browser or via Lotus Notes. Included in the web library was the ability to have direct access to view images of the patents from a 1.3 Terabyte image repository of over 3000 CDs. Patents could be downloaded in TIFF, PDF, PS and other formats or faxed to IBM sites around the world.

Link to content List of Almaden Projects
Link to DB2 Information Management
Link to Net.Data

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