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Author Topic: Patent family trees  (Read 843 times)

jeff.oneill

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Patent family trees
« on: 06-13-19 at 11:09 am »

Hi all,

We recently deployed a page to make it easy to get a diagram of a patent family tree.  You can see it here:
    https://www.patentbots.com/patentplex

Please try it out and let me know what you think.

Jeff
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lazyexaminer

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Re: Patent family trees
« Reply #1 on: 06-13-19 at 11:46 am »

Not bad. Similar to an internal one we have, which I like when it works (too often it doesn't).

One criticism: it doesn't understand what a reexam or a reissue is. Called both DIV.
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jeff.oneill

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Re: Patent family trees
« Reply #2 on: 06-13-19 at 07:21 pm »

One criticism: it doesn't understand what a reexam or a reissue is. Called both DIV.

Thanks for pointing that out.  Didn't consider those.

I would have fixed it today, but the USPTO servers have been down all day... :o
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Jonathan

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Re: Patent family trees
« Reply #3 on: 06-13-19 at 09:36 pm »


I tried typing in a somewhat recent patent number  without commas (10xxxxxx) and by chance there happens to  also be a patent application that had the same series of digits for it application number (10/xxxxxx).

Without commas, the application that has the same digits as the patent I am interested was retrieved,

I was able to get the patent with the same digits by inserting commas: 10,xxx,xxx .

Perhaps just update the popup 'help' message to indicate to include commas if searching via patent number?





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jeff.oneill

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Re: Patent family trees
« Reply #4 on: 06-14-19 at 01:38 pm »

Thanks for the feedback Jonathan and lazyexaminer.  I just deployed an update to fix both of those.

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Robert K S

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Re: Patent family trees
« Reply #5 on: 06-17-19 at 05:04 pm »

If I try patent ten million it works with commas but without commas it says "We did not find a patent or application with that number."
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jeff.oneill

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Re: Patent family trees
« Reply #6 on: 06-19-19 at 09:25 am »

If I try patent ten million it works with commas but without commas it says "We did not find a patent or application with that number."

1000000 could be 10/000,000 (app ser no) or 10,000,000 (patent). We try the former first and there is no app with that number.

I suppose we should make the error message clearer.
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Robert K S

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Re: Patent family trees
« Reply #7 on: 06-19-19 at 06:37 pm »

If I try patent ten million it works with commas but without commas it says "We did not find a patent or application with that number."

1000000 could be 10/000,000 (app ser no) or 10,000,000 (patent). We try the former first and there is no app with that number.

I suppose we should make the error message clearer.

Or, y'know, rather than make the error message clearer (which is the less helpful of two alternatives), the system could take the user directly to the requested item when it turns out there is no actual ambiguity.
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smgsmc

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Re: Patent family trees
« Reply #8 on: 06-19-19 at 07:20 pm »

If I try patent ten million it works with commas but without commas it says "We did not find a patent or application with that number."

1000000 could be 10/000,000 (app ser no) or 10,000,000 (patent). We try the former first and there is no app with that number.

I suppose we should make the error message clearer.
The root cause of potential problems is the entry

Enter a number for a U.S. application, publication, or patent:

which allows for collisions between unformatted strings of numbers.  Why not have separate checkoff boxes first for the type of document

Select: 

U.S. application
publication
patent

followed by document identifier

Enter:

Number


Problem solved.
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jeff.oneill

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Re: Patent family trees
« Reply #9 on: 06-21-19 at 11:12 am »

I like having a really simple user interface with a single box. 

I'll update it so that when a user enters an ambiguous number, I'll then ask them to select patent vs app. 

This keeps it super easy for non-ambiguous numbers and we won't ever present the wrong patent to users.
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Toot Aps Esroh

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Re: Patent family trees
« Reply #10 on: 06-21-19 at 12:40 pm »

Many years ago I took the opportunity to take the feedback survey each time I visited PAIR and it asked if I wanted to do the survey.

The comment I left over and over again was, why make us click AppNo, PatNo, PctNo, PubNo, etc when these all have different numeric formats (or no format required, but differing numbers of characters)?

Of course, this was many years before patent 10 million made its arrival.
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Robert K S

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Re: Patent family trees
« Reply #11 on: 06-21-19 at 02:51 pm »

Google Patents handles ambiguities pretty well without requiring more than a single search field.  There's just a little drop-down from the search field that allows you to select which of the several possibilities you want.  It's not perfect, but it's a good starting point.
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jeff.oneill

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Re: Patent family trees
« Reply #12 on: 06-24-19 at 06:49 pm »

Thanks all for the feedback.  I just added a dropdown similar to Google patents when the patent number is ambiguous.  That way, you can select the one that you want.

Please let me know if there is any other info you would like to see added to our PatentPlex pages.
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