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Google Patents website versions

May 22, 2017 Comments off

In a previous post about expedited single-patent analysis I discuss how much I enjoy the layout format of the version of Google Patents available at the URL syntax of https://www.google.com/patents/patent_identifier. I continue to use this site for reviewing patents in my daily work.

There is also a newer version of Google Patents available at the URL syntax of https://patents.google.com/patent/patent_identifier. This newer version of Google Patents has a variety of improvements over the previous version, such as detailed search capability, patent expiration information, and claim text search term highlighting. The image viewer is also different, though not necessarily better, depending upon the circumstances (as detailed below).

That said, for several reasons I find myself continuing to prefer the previous version of Google Patents, which as of this writing is still available. These reasons include issues with the newer version, which were communicated to the Google Patents development team in 2016, albeit to no reply as of this writing:

  1. Unnecessary Search Column: It would be helpful to be able to collapse the left-most column containing the search fields. Often, when one is reviewing a particular patent, there’s no desire to perform more searches. I admit that I sometimes work from a Chromebook with an 11-inch display, so having that left column go away would provide more precious real estate for the specification content, or possibly allow for images to be shown on the right side.
  2. Small Images Viewer: For the drawings/images/figures, they are presented in a very small area when using a smaller display device, especially when centered with the rest of the content. I often cannot sufficiently see them and therefore must open them in a new window. While it’s often helpful to be able to see the images while still viewing the rest of the content, it would be beneficial to be able to open the set of drawings in a superimposed pop-up like is done for the legacy Google Patents — in this way a new window/tab is not needed, and one can scroll through all the figures quickly, all while being able to sufficiently see them.
  3. Less-Accessible Metadata: It would be better to include the “Also Published As” information in the top metadata box instead of linking to a full list at the bottom of the page. The preexisting Google Patents solution has a collapsed list of related patents, and this would be the preferable solution for ease and speed of use. Or even a hover or pop-up box with the information would be helpful. Searchers and analysts very often need to see what family members there are, particularly US family members, and so having to go all the way to the bottom of the page to see this very important metadata is counter-intuitive and slow.
  4. Much Slower Page Load Time: Beyond viewing the information, the speed of loading of a single newer Google Patents page is now painfully slow, especially as compared to the loading of the earlier version. And the newer pages will not completely load until after a browser tab/window is put into focus, as opposed to the legacy version which loads without being in focus. The newer pages have a title of “Result” on the browser tab until viewed.

One issue that arose in 2016 was that on the legacy Google Patents, newer patents’ images were not being shown because the associated image links were broken. Perhaps this is intentional so as to encourage users to the newer Google Patents, or perhaps it’s because the legacy version is no longer being actively supported (or both). In any case, because I prefer the legacy version, I created a Chrome browser extension called “Google Patents Images” which on the fly modifies the image links for legacy Google Patents to use the image links for the newer Google Patents. The extension should work automatically for any legacy Google Patents page after the initial installation of the extension (as long as JavaScript is enabled).

The first issued US patent with broken figure images is 8,856,962 — all patents before that patent work OK. The first broken US pre-grant publication is 2014/0304877, while the first broken US design patent is D715016.

Replacing the images allows for viewing the images, but the controls to go to the previous/next images are still broken — these are controlled in the page’s JavaScript, which cannot be manipulated by a Chrome extension.

Google Patents Images Chrome extension

Google Patents Images Chrome extension

Categories: Analysis, Resources, Software Tags: ,

More Patent Analysis Tools

November 7, 2014 Comments off

The patent claims tree Chrome browser extension I created in 2012 provides a patent claims tree for a given patent document, and it has become fairly popular, with several hundred users as of this writing. The tool is available at the Chrome Web Store, and is described in more detail here and here.

I have created additional Chrome browser extensions that I have found helpful and that you can use during patent analysis. One provides USPTO patent assignments for any selected text, such as a selected company name. This solution allows you to quickly look up any US patent assignments for a given company name in the USPTO patent assignment database.

UPDATED (May 22, 2017): The other links from a selected patent or patent application identifier on any webpage to the corresponding Google Patents page.

The “Patent Assignments” tool is available at the Chrome Web Store, as is the “Open Google Patents” tool.

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

Patent Assignments - screenshot

Patent Assignments Chrome browser extension

 

Open Google Patents Chrome extension

Open Google Patents Chrome extension

 

Categories: Analysis, Resources, Software Tags: ,

Patent Claims Tree tool updates

May 2, 2014 Comments off

The patent claims tree Chrome browser extension I created in 2012  provides a patent claims tree for a given patent document, and it has become fairly popular, with several hundred users as of this writing. The tool is available at the Chrome Web Store, and is described in more detail here.

I have recently made a couple of improvements to the tool for EP and WO (PCT/WIPO) patent document handling. For one, claim tree creation is now supported for both EP and WO patent documents on Google Patents. Additionally, rudimentary support for German and French for EP patent documents in Google Patents has been added. While the claim type is not handled for German and French, claim tree creation is now provided. Additionally, it should be noted that Google Patents provides kind code B (i.e., issued patent) claims text for EP patents (while Espacenet does not as of this writing — the kind code B issued claims are only available in a PDF file). See this other PatentAnalyst blog post regarding consideration of kind codes for EP patent documents.

The screenshot below shows a claims tree for an issued EP patent viewed in Google Patents. Noteworthy is that not all formats of multiple dependent claims are fully handled in the Patent Claims Tree tool. These types of claims are more common in EP patent documents than in US patent documents.

Google Patents EP claim tree

 

Categories: Analysis, Resources, Software Tags: ,

Standards Sources

October 9, 2013 Comments off

I spend a fair amount of my time reviewing wireless air interface and data communications inventions, and so I often need to reference appropriate related standards and specification documents. Below is a very partial list of wireless and general data communications standards and specifications along with their associated website links. I hope you find these references helpful and that these hasten your standards document searches.

LTE (and LTE-Advanced) air interface (E-UTRA): published by 3GPP: http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/Specs/html-info/36-series.htm

UMTS/HSPA air interface (UTRA): published by 3GPP: http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/Specs/html-info/25-series.htm

Wi-Fi (802.11): published by IEEE:

Bluetooth: published by Bluetooth Special Interest Group: https://www.bluetooth.org/Technical/Specifications/adopted.htm

Near Field Communication (NFC): published by NFC Forum: http://www.nfc-forum.org/specs/

WiMAX (802.16): published by IEEE: http://standards.ieee.org/about/get/802/802.16.html

CDMA2000 (incl. EV-DO, etc.): published by 3GPP2: http://www.3gpp2.org/public_html/specs/

Internet communications (e.g., HTTP, SIP, DNS, etc.): published by Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF): http://www.ietf.org/rfc.html

Web application technologies (e.g., HTML, CSS, XML, SOAP, DOM, etc.): published by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C): http://www.w3.org/standards/

SIM/USIM: published by 3GPP: http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/Specs/html-info/31-series.htm

Mobile device APIs (e.g., device management, M2M, etc.): published by Open Mobile Alliance (OMA): http://technical.openmobilealliance.org/Technical/current_releases.aspx

Considering Kind Codes when Analyzing non-US Patents

February 15, 2013 1 comment

In my patent analysis work, I am sometimes asked to review patent documents from jurisdictions other than the US, such as from Europe (EP) and the United Kingdom (GB).

A common error I have encountered when analysts in the US look at patent documents from other jurisdictions is that they review the wrong version of a patent document, thereby wasting their own and their client’s time. Counter to the USPTO’s practice of separate pre-grant patent application publication and granted patent numbering schemes (11-digit and 7-digit, respectively), many other jurisdictions use the same number for both published patent applications and granted patents. The way that these other jurisdictions’ patent offices (such as the EPO and UK IPO) represent the difference in the patent document identifier is through the use of a “kind-of-document code”, which is a one- or two-character suffix that follows the patent document number — e.g., GB2172127A vs GB2172127B.

For another example, EP patent applications are represented with a trailing “A” kind code, while granted EP patents are represented with a trailing “B” kind code. For EP patent documents, an “A1” indicates a European patent application published with a European search report, and a “B1” indicates a “European patent specification (granted patent)”. There are several other kind codes for each of the “A” and “B” kind code sets — for more details, see the EPO’s kind code help page. The USPTO has its own comparable US kind code list, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) additionally has a comprehensive guide to patent kind codes.

The specific error that I have witnessed from a few other patent analysts is that they spend time reviewing the claim set of a published EP or GB patent application (i.e., kind code “A”)  instead of reviewing the claim set of the associated granted EP or GB patent (i.e., kind code “B”). Obviously analysis on an originally-filed or still-pending set of claims is likely to not be helpful for a client because the client wants to know how relevant the issued claims are, and the issued claims are very likely to represent some, if not many, modifications from the original claim set. The claims normally differ between these two, potentially substantially, so when analysts map or otherwise analyze “A” claims the work is probably incomplete and/or inaccurate. Part of the problem is that search tools such as Espacenet default to showing the “A” claims, even when the “B” version has been selected. To get to the “B” version of the claims, one must explicitly select such. The kind code B claims are only available in a PDF image at Espacenet and the UK IPO.

UPDATE: However, thanks to Google, this doesn’t mean that I have to OCR them and/or type them in when filling out reviews. Google Patents has support for EP and WO patent documents, including the claims. Google Patents provides kind code B claims in a textual format for simple copy-and-paste, and the Patent Claims Tree tool for the Chrome browser will parse these textual claims and provide a claims tree.

See the example screen shot below showing selection of the “B” kind code of a particular granted GB patent GB2172127, with the “A” kind code claims displayed instead — note that the indication of this is rather subtle (source: http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/claims?CC=GB&NR=2172127B&KC=B&FT=D&ND=4&date=19881012&DB=EPODOC&locale=en_EP, retrieved Feb 15, 2013):

GB patent kind code "A" claims

GB patent kind code “A” claims

Therefore, when performing patent analysis on non-US patents, it’s best to understand and leverage the kind code to ensure that you are reviewing the appropriate set of claims.

Patent News Feeds Android app

October 2, 2012 Comments off

I have released an update to an Android mobile application RSS and Twitter feed reader for patent-related news from several of the most popular patent and intellectual property (IP) blogs. This Android app is provided and maintained for free by my patent analysis company Wolf Mountain IP (via Wolf Mountain Apps).

For more details on the application, see the Google Play page for “Patent News Feeds”.

UPDATE (March 2, 2016): This app has since been unpublished.

FeedsReaderSettings

Categories: Resources, Software

Patent Claims Tree tool

I recently published a Chrome browser extension that provides a patent claims tree for a given patent document — this tool is available here.  I developed the tool for myself, and I find it quite handy in my daily patent analysis work, so I thought I would share it with the patent community for free.  I hope you like it.

Features:

  • Supports the following websites:
    • USPTO
    • FreePatentsOnline
    • Google Patents
    • ArchPatent
  • Displays the type of claim (e.g., apparatus, method, system, etc.)
  • Displays the word count for independent claims
  • Highlights the claim with the shortest word count
  • Displays a means-plus-function (MPF) language indication (searches for word “means”)
  • Links to USPTO Assignment database for the current US patent document.
  • Links to USPTO Maintenance Fees for the current patent.
  • Links for searching for US patent litigation associated with the patent.
  • Links to Google Patents PDF for the current US patent document.
  • Links to Google Patents Prior Art Finder for the current US patent document.
  • Links to FreePatentsOnline for the current US patent document.
  • Links to EPO Register for EP patent documents.
Patent Claims Tree Chrome extension

Patent Claims Tree Chrome extension

Categories: Analysis, Resources, Software Tags: ,