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.

Google Patents Widescreen Viewer

UPDATE (Jan 15, 2018): Ian and the great team at Google have rendered this extension unnecessary as of this writing. The sidebar is now collapsible, and there is a search bar on the top. The new figure viewer is very flexible and allows for expanding a figure to the needed width. There has also been a big JavaScript refactor and use of gzip to speed up page loading significantly. Excellent work!


Today I published a new Chrome browser extension called “Google Patents Widescreen” that makes Google Patents (patents.google.com/patent/) much more readable. The left-side search column is hidden, the text area is widened, and images are provided at greater resolution for readability.

A resolution width of 1920 works very well, though all narrower widths also provide improved readability.

Once it’s installed in Chrome, you don’t need to do anything — all Google Patents patent pages (with this syntax: patents.google.com/patent/) will automatically be modified for alternate presentation.

Note that the extension doesn’t send out any data, and in fact there’s no JavaScript — it’s purely just formatting tweaks.

Here’s the different in presentation from the normal view versus the extension’s enhanced view:

Google Patents Widescreen viewer
Google Patents Widescreen viewer

Google search tools for patent searching and analysis

When performing patent-related searches and/or analyses, I often leverage Google search tools to facilitate my work. A few examples are provided below, and I welcome others’ insight into other helpful search utilities. I should note that I sometimes also use Microsoft’s Bing search application, particularly because I earn Bing Rewards, but Google does have some specific patent-related utilities that Bing and other publicly-available and free search applications lack.

Google Images

When analyzing a patent and searching for either utilization or related art for inventive embodiments that include aspects that can be seen, such as mechanical designs or computer user interfaces, Google’s Images search results often are handy. A picture truly can be worth a thousand words, if not more. For example, I recently filed a patent application for an invention that my wife and I created for a unique drinking vessel. As part of my patentability assessment, I used Google Images to search for existing beer stein designs that might already disclose what we believed likely to be novel. So I searched using Google with the phrase “beer stein” (among many others of course), then I selected the “Images” link in the results — an example screen shot is shown below (from google.com).

Google Images
Google Images

Date Range

Additionally, when performing patent searches, normally there is a date range of interest. For example, for validity or patentability searches, a priority date is used to limit resulting references to those that precede the priority date of relevance. Google provides for date range selection in various different places, such as through selection of a “Search tools” button in a results banner. From there, a searcher may select a date or time range such as “Past hour”, “Past 24 hours”, “Past week”, etc. Normally the choice of interest is “Custom range…” (highlighted in the screen shot below from google.com). So for example, for a priority date of February 3, 2003, the “From” date field may be left blank, and “2/3/2003” may be entered for the “To” date field. This causes Google to only display results for references published before February 3, 2003.

Google Date/Time Range
Google Date/Time Range

Google Custom Date Range
Google Custom Date Range

Site

When searching for potential patent claim utilization, clients often request specific target companies’ products. In those cases, the strongest references are those provided by a target company itself. Therefore, limiting search results to those provided by the target company is often helpful, and this can be done through use of a additional “site:” parameter. For example, to limit search results to those from “ACME Company, Inc.”, whose main domain is “acmeinc.com”, enter normal search terms plus additionally include “site:acmeinc.com”.

Advanced Search

Google also provides several other parameters that a searcher can use to limit results — these can be found in “Advanced Search” (https://www.google.com/advanced_search). The Advanced Search can also be accessed through selection of the gear icon on a normal search results page. Results can be further limited, for example, through specifying explicit search term combinations, words to exclude, languages, etc. Screen shots are sourced from https://google.com and https://www.google.com/advanced_search:

Google Settings
Google Settings

Google Advanced Search
Google Advanced Search

Prior Art Finder

And of course let’s not forget Google’s Prior Art Finder. For a given patent, Google will extract key terms and search for various types of references using those search terms where the references were published before the patent’s priority date. Additionally, a user can modify, remove, and add search terms and/or change the search’s date range. A key advantage of Google searches is that common synonyms for each search term are also used in the searches, and Google will sometimes leverage synonyms that a searcher may not have envisioned when creating a search plan. References can be sourced from scholarly references, other patent documents, books, the Web, people, or the top 10 from these groups. The example Prior Art Finder screen shot below is for US patent 6368227 for a method of swinging on a swing (https://www.google.com/patents/related/US6368227):

Google Prior Art Finder
Google Prior Art Finder