Report:PatBase Express/Viewing Results/Viewing Patent Citations
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Viewing Patent Citations
PatBase Express has three ways to view patent citations. The user reaches the first by clicking on the "Similar patents" link in the search results list (beside each individual result) or in the full record view at the top of the page beside the representative document number. The help section defines "similar patents" as "patents cited or classified by patent office examiners." The second option is found while viewing a family record; the user may click one of the cited patents under the "Cited documents" section in the bibliographic record data to view the record for that particular patent document.
However, this takes the user to a “citation version” of the chosen document, in which many of the links, including links to this patent’s own citations, are deactivated. There are no links to forward citations. Users can return to the main document record by selecting the link "Back to citing record."
The third option is the citation tree view produced when the user clicks on the "Citations" link in the upper right corner of the record view. The citation tree includes backward citations in purple, the current family members of the record in gray, and forward citations in green. Users can choose from a drop-down menu to view the backward and forward citations of:
- All members of the patent family (including non-cited members, which aren't linked to any forward or backward citations).
- Cited family members only.
- Individual family members.
Users can select to save or export the citation tree image in JPEG format. Clicking any of the boxes in the citation view will display a small preview of the clicked patent.
The preview menu for the selected patent document allows the user to:
- View the citation tree for that document's family record.
- Add the citation document to "My List" (see the Flagging Results section for more information).
- View the full family record for that patent document (the record appears in a separate window, and all "cited document" links are available).
The lack of forward citations outside of the citation tree feature is a major shortcoming of the system. The ability to move forward and backwards through the tree is intuitive and allows users to explore citation relationships in a convenient manner.