Report:QPAT/Data Coverage/Patent Coverage/Legal Status Information
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|As of January 1, 2013, both QPAT and PatentExaminer have been discontinued, and they have been replaced by the Orbit.com portal.|
Legal Status Information
Overview and Patolis
The legal status information in QPAT comes from the EPO-produced INPADOC legal file, which is updated weekly, and the external links to the national and regional patent registers. The service does not have legal data feeds from individual patenting authorities, with one exception: Japanese legal status is supplied in QPAT through Questel’s partnership with the Patolis Corporation. However, this Patolis legal status data is only available with a separate flat-fee subscription. For more information, see Pricing.
The agreement with Patolis means that QPAT has a unique source of Japanese legal status data, which makes it a valuable tool for those frequently needing to check the status of Japanese documents. An additional subscription is necessary to access this data, however. QPAT representatives have also stated that because of their relationship with the Patolis corp., they are able to provide Japanese FI and F-term classifications in their FamPat and PlusPat files back to 1973.
Links to Status Registers
From its FamPat family display, QPat provides external links to the national and regional patent registers for Australia (AU), Canada (CA), China (CN), the European Patent Office (EP), the United Kingdom (GB), the Republic of Korea (KR), the US (US), and WIPO for the Patent Cooperation Treaty documents (WO/PCT), so that users can check up-to-date legal status information via these external sources. A screenshot of this family display is shown below; the external link to the appropriate legal register is shown as a collection of four blue boxes, and only appears for patent documents from one of the authorities listed above.
Note that in order for the FamPat family display to be available, users would have to either conduct a search within the FamPat file and view the results, or "group" results from other databases using the "group in families" command from the hit list. To learn more about this feature, see The Hit List.
The links to national and regional legal status registers are a convenient way for QPat users to obtain up-to-date legal status information for any documents of particular interest. It is particularly convenient that the links are available directly from the individual record view as part of the FamPat family display. Although the availability of this information can be affected by service problems at the external sites, checking the legal status through the associated register is generally considered the most reliable way to get status information.
INPADOC Legal Status
INPADOC legal status data is only loaded into the FamPat bibliographic database. In previous versions of QPAT, in order to view the legal status data for a record for a full text file, the hit list must be “grouped” using FamPat family data in order for the legal status icon to appear in the record view menu bar. However with the October 2008 update, the legal status is available immediately. Further, the legal status of the family members is displayed, as opposed to only legal status for the select document. The figure below shows an example status record after the 2008 update.
When displaying INPADOC legal data, QPAT uses a highlighting scheme to color-code actions based on whether they are moving towards a positive outcome, like patent grant (green) or a negative outcome, like rejection/expiry (red). (This color coding can be seen in some competitor's systems as well.)
Although it is a nice feature, the color coding is not unique to QPAT: it can be seen in some competitor’s systems as well.
US Reassignment Data
US reassignment data is added into FamPat on a weekly basis, and the data comes directly from the USPTO. Coverage is from 1980 forward. This data is included in any general assignee name search within FamPat, but it will be exported into a separate field labeled PAH ("Patent Assignee History") when data is exported from QPAT into a CSV spreadsheet.