Coverage/Patent Coverage/Additional Bibliographic Coverage/Questel Patent Family Collection

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Questel Patent Family Collection

The FamPat file covers bibliographic and abstract data for about 95 patent authorities (equivalent to the bibliographic coverage of PlusPat) and also contains the legal status and full text of the following authorities:[1]

  • Austria (AT)
  • Belgium (BE)
  • Brazil (BR)
  • Canada (CA)
  • China (CN)
  • Denmark (DK)
  • Europe (EP)
  • Finland (FI)
  • France (FR)
  • Germany (DE)
  • India (IN)
  • Japan (JP)
  • Korea (KR)
  • Russia (RU)
  • Spain (ES)
  • Sweden (SE)
  • Switzerland (CH)
  • Taiwan (TW)
  • United Kingdom (GB)
  • U.S.A (US)
  • PCT (WO)

The bibliographic coverage tables for both PlusPat and FamPat on the Questel website are identical, and the Questel user guide indicates that PlusPat bibliographic data serves as a source for FamPat bibliographic coverage.[2] The bibliographic coverage of both PlusPat and FamPat is mostly equivalent to INPADOC, with a few minor differences. See the bibliographic coverage section of the report for more information on the bibliographic coverage of the FamPat file.

Options to search through FamPat, PlusPat, or FullText collections.

In FamPat, records are grouped by invention-based families, as opposed to PlusPat, where records combine all publication stages of the invention for one patent authority. According to the Questel website, a single family record in FamPat combines together all publication stages of the family, and the FamPat family definition incorporates the EPO’s strict family rule with additional rules to include:[3]

  • Applications falling outside the 12 month filing limit;
  • Links between EP and PCT publications;
  • Combining US Provisionals that share the same priority with US Published Applications.
  • FamPat’s family definitions also incorporate different patenting authorities’ definitions of an invention, particularly useful with Japanese publication searching.

FamPat Records include the following content:[4]

  • First Page Information: Patent and published application numbers and publication dates, application numbers and filing dates, priority numbers and priority dates, the assignee (s), inventor (s), titles, abstracts and drawings.
  • Classification Codes: EPO (ECLA, ICO, IDT and Berlin), International Patent Classification (IPC), the US Patent Office (PCL) and Japanese Patent Office Classifications (FI, F-Terms).
  • Patent and Non Patent Literature Citations for WO, EP, US, EA, AP, AU, BE, CH, CZ, DE, DK, ES, FR, GB, GR, JP, LU, NL, SG and TR publications.
  • Full Text Claims and Descriptions: Full Text claims and descriptions are searchable for WO, US, EP, AT, BE, BR, CA, CH, CN, DE, ES, FR, GB, JP, RU, DK, FI and SE, IN, TW, KR publications.
  • Legal Status information (Inpadoc PRS data) for approximately 50 countries is included in FamPat. For JP documents the NRI legal status data may be displayed.

View of a FamPat family (under "Published As") from a full record view, with the FamPat patent family also listed in a side panel and the option to retrieve the broader INPADOC family.

The FamPat record is also enhanced with Questel Key Content, which includes "high value-added fields extracted from the core of the patents' full text," including:[5]

  • Object of the invention
  • Advantages of the new invention and Drawback of prior art
  • Independent claims

The Key Content is displayed for a Representative Member of the FamPat family record.[6] Key Content sections are available for US, EP, and WO documents published in English as follows:[6]

  • EP published applications since 1980 (Euro-PCTs excluded)
  • PCT published applications since Mid 2001
  • US granted patents from 1971 to 2000
  • US published applications since March, 15, 2001

Key Content tab for a FamPat record.

Key Concepts are another value-added feature included on FamPat records, and these main concepts "are extracted with language technologies from the Full Text of the patent publications for US, EP and WO documents published in English. The coverage is the same as from Key content, shown above. The larger the characters and the brighter the blue coloring, the more important the concept."[6]

Key Concepts tab for a FamPat record.

See the Family Data section for additional information on family groupings on

editors note iconEditor's Note:

Both FamPat and DWPI family definitions create narrower patent families that are more closely grouped around a single invention than the broad INPADOC families, where family members must only share a single common priority document. Learn more about different patent family definitions through the Patent Families glossary page.

Both the Key Content and Key Concepts added to the FamPat records are useful value-added resources that may help a patent searcher more quickly determine the relevancy of a particular FamPat record without reading every claim.


  1. "FamPat Database Coverage and Update." Questel website, Accessed September 27, 2012.
  2. Questel. "User Guide: Orbit, the Questel IP Portal." October 2011. Questel website, Accessed October 5, 2012.
  3. "FamPat - The Invention at the Heart of Family ." Questel website, Accessed October 1, 2012.
  4. "General Search - Databases to search ." Questel website, Accessed October 1, 2012.
  5. "Questel Key Content." Questel Website, Accessed October 1, 2012.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Search Module - Document view." Questel website, Accessed October 1, 2012.
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