Report:FreePatentsOnline/Viewing Results/Family Search Features
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Family Search Features
However, there is a searchable field for "parent case text." Parent case text includes non-hyperlinked text detailing patent documents with priority data related to the currently viewed record (continuations, provisionals, etc.)
Searching with family data can help users easily find documents that are closely related to an interesting reference. In some cases these family members may contain additional technical content or earlier priority dates, both of which could be advantageous to prior art searchers. The lack of family data in FreePatentsOnline leaves the user with one less option of finding very similar patent documents that either more closely resemble what they are looking for, or may have additional information to help widen the search such as classification information or citations. Free patent search systems such as esp@cenet and Patent Lens have INPADOC family data, and are alternatives for users looking for this information. As a point of comparison, similar patent search systems Google Patent Search and PatentAnalysis.com also do not have family data.