Text Citations

This year (2021) I created and published another free browser extension called Excerpt with Link, which copies selected text and the associated webpage link (URL) to the clipboard. This provides a quick and simple way to cite website text. Options are also offered to determine how to format the text and link for pasting. This extension is not patent-focused, though I find it handy when citing indications of potential use in patent reviews and for referencing documentation sources. The extension is currently available for both Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. If there is demand, I’ll consider porting to Mozilla Firefox as well.

Try it out to expedite your text citations. Check out the screenshots below to see how the tool works.

Excerpt with Link is an additional browser extension you can add to your patent analysis tool arsenal, along with Patent Claims Analyzer, Patent Assignments, and Open Google Patents, all of which have been updated recently to add various enhancements.

Learn more about Patent Claims Analyzer.

Learn more about Patent Assignments and Open Google Patents.

Browser Extensions for Patent Analysis

The Chrome browser extension Patent Claims Analyzer is currently one of the most popular browser add-on tools focused on enhancing and expediting patent-related work, with well over 1,000 weekly users.

Two other popular patent analysis browser extensions I’ve created and used over the past several years are the Patent Assignments tool and the Open Google Patents tool, with each currently being leveraged by over 200 patent experts per week.

I am pleased to announce that I recently made enhancements to both tools, such as improving handling of text within text input boxes, adding support of US patent application serial numbers in the Patent Assignments tool, improving memory utilization, and reducing extension permissions.

Most importantly, both extensions have been ported to two additional web browsers — Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox. In fact, as of this writing these two extensions are the only extensions in the respective extension stores dedicated to patent work. I understand that not everyone uses Google Chrome, particularly corporate users who have IT restrictions on software use. Therefore, by porting these two extensions to additional browsers, I hope that you are able to leverage the functionality which hundreds of patent experts have enjoyed for years in Chrome.

The Patent Assignments extension provides USPTO patent assignment information for any selected text, such as a selected company name or a patent number. This solution allows you to quickly look up any US patent assignments for a given company name, US patent number, US pre-grant publication number, or US patent application serial number in the USPTO patent assignment database.

The Open Google Patents extension allows you to quickly open Google Patents for a selected patent identifier. Select a patent identifier in text, then open the context menu and select “Open Google Patents” from the menu.

Screenshots for each extension are provided below. I hope that you find these applications helpful in your patent analysis.

Patent Assignments - screenshot
Patent Assignments browser extension

Open Google Patents Chrome extension
Open Google Patents extension

Patent Claims Analyzer

Patent Claims Analyzer

I have released a big update to the free Chrome browser extension “Patent Claims Tree” which was first published back in 2012. The latest version of this tool is called “Patent Claims Analyzer” to reflect richer functionality and includes a number of new features and enhancements that I find handy during patent analysis, including:

  • There is an added ability to hide dependent claims
  • It is possible to show independent claims text for ease of referencing claims while simultaneously reading the patent specification
  • For Google Patents you can select an independent claim to scroll the webpage to that claim
  • A copy option copies text for a selected independent claim for convenience in pasting elsewhere
  • There is an optional “Save as Chart” feature that creates a pre-populated claim chart document — this works best for Google Patents
  • Settings functionality and flow is improved

The Patent Claims Analyzer tool is a Chrome browser extension that displays patent claims information for all patent claims listed on a current webpage, such as:

  • Independent claim numbers
  • Independent claim word count
  • Independent claim type (best effort)
  • Independent claim text
  • Dependent claim numbers
  • Hierarchical dependencies
  • Priority date (Google Patents only)
  • Several helpful links, such as USPTO Assignments, USPTO Maintenance info, Global Dossier, Espacenet, EPO Patent Register, EPO Federated Register, Google Patents Prior Art Finder, and more

The tool provides interactive features, such as:

  • Hide/Show dependent claims
  • Show/Hide independent claim text
  • Copy independent claim text
  • Scroll to claim in webpage (US patents in Google Patents only)
  • Export pre-filled claim chart

Select the red claims tree icon on the right side of the address bar in the Chrome browser to see a patent claims tree and associated details. Patent Claims Analyzer - 128x128

Claims Tree
Patent Claims Analyzer – Chrome browser extension
Show Independent Claims Text
Patent Claims Analyzer – Show Independent Claims Text
Hide Dependents
Patent Claims Analyzer – Hide Dependent Claims
Save as Chart
Patent Claims Analyzer – Exported Claim Chart
Settings
Patent Claims Analyzer – Settings

Currently supported on the following websites (at least partially):

  • USPTO
  • Google Patents (.com, .de, .fr, .co.uk, .se, .ca, co.in, co.nz currently — send me requests for additional countries). Currently US, EP, WO, and CA patent documents are handled. A future update will also handle documents from other jurisdictions such as DE.
  • FreePatentsOnline
  • Espacenet

I do my best to present the claims trees and information correctly, but I cannot guarantee results because the supported websites are dynamic and often changing — so PLEASE LET ME KNOW OF ANY ISSUES YOU ENCOUNTER. The extension is provided ‘As-Is’ without any express or implied warranty of any kind.

The extension should work for a webpage loaded after the initial installation of the extension, as long as JavaScript is enabled.

Privacy: Note that no information is transmitted from the extension — all webpage data handling is done only at your local browser in the extension. This and other Chrome extensions from Wolf Mountain IP are provided free for use for the benefit of fellow members of the patent community.

Multiple dependent claims are not currently fully supported. Also, only claims in English are currently fully supported. Some basic French and German handling is provided.

Visited links on Google Patents pages are highlighted, facilitating review projects.

For additional information, visit Wolf Mountain IP’s support page for the Patent Claims Analyzer.

Patent Search and Analysis Training

Could you or your team use detailed insight and tips from an experienced patent analyst on how to search for patents, determine the most important patents for a given project, analyze a patent for potential market relevance, and minimize time spent while maximizing your output?

I am now offering patent search and analysis training sessions from 1/2 day to 3 days in duration, customized to your particular needs, and I will travel to your site to meet with you and your team. Take advantage of my over 14 years of patent analysis experience across a variety of clients, including dozens of Fortune 500 entities.

Contact me to arrange a training session — I look forward to working with you!

scott|AT| wolfmountainip |DOT| com

EPO Patent Search Matters

I will be attending 2019’s European Patent Office (EPO) “Patent Search Matters” training event in Munich, Germany on May 7 and 8. I hope to see you there!

From the EPO:

The next in the EPO’s “Search Matters” series of annual training events will be held in Munich from 6 to 8 May 2019. This event provides patent search professionals with a unique opportunity to gain an insight into the EPO’s search strategies and techniques and to learn more about industry-specific searches.

At a total of 26 workshops run by patent examiners, participants will be able not only to take a closer look at a wide range of topics, including the impact of AI and blockchain on searching, search strategies and Asian prior art, but also to find out more about search tools such as Espacenet and PATSTAT and explore the complexity of searching in the automotive, ICT and chemistry fields. The programme includes plenary lectures and a round table on searchers’ hopes and fears and the future of searching in an AI and blockchain landscape.

In addition, at the much-sought-after “at-the-desk” sessions, to be held on the afternoon of 6 May, before the main event officially starts, participants will have a chance to talk to EPO examiners about approaches to searching in specific technical areas which they can select when registering.

(https://www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/official-journal/2018/12/a106.html)

Patent Deception

NPR’s Planet Money released an episode covering invention/patent scams, primarily focusing on World Patent Marketing. It’s a sad and cautionary tale. Be sure to leverage an experienced patent practitioner (searcher, agent, attorney) before engaging with one of these marketing companies.

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) also has a “Scam Prevention” page worth checking out to learn how to avoid getting scammed.

US Patent Term (Expiration Estimation)

It can be somewhat tricky to accurately estimate when an issued US patent should expire. Nowadays, there are plenty of software solutions that automatically perform this calculation so you don’t have to. For example, AcclaimIP provides the calculated patent expiration date. But if you do not have access to such a solution, fear not — you need not calculate the expiration manually. The USPTO provides a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet called “Patent Term Calculator” with associated instructions — you just need to find the indicated information and input it into the spreadsheet to have the expiration date calculated.

According to the USPTO:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office does not calculate expiration dates for patents. In response to patent owner and public inquiry, the USPTO is providing a downloadable patent term calculator as a resource to help the public estimate the expiration date of a patent. The calculator can be used to estimate the expiration dates of utility, plant, or design patents. The calculator contains prompts to enter specific information related to the patent in order to help in estimating expiration dates. [Link]

Stupid Patent of the Month

If you haven’t already run across the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Stupid Patent of the Month “award,” I can recommend checking it out so you can be entertained by each month’s winner. The EFF even has a “Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents”. The most recent month’s selection for Stupid Patent of the Month is US 9,069,648, which the EFF outlines as follows:

The patent describes sending “motivational messages,” based “on the current or anticipated activity of the user,” to a “personal electronic device.” The patent provides examples such as sending the message “don’t give up” when the user is running up a hill. The examples aren’t limited to health or exercise. For example, the patent suggests sending messages like “do not fear” and “God is with you” when a “user enters a dangerous neighborhood.” [Link]

US9069648, Fig 8
US9069648, Fig 8