Report:QPAT/Import, Export, and Download/Export Functions
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|As of January 1, 2013, both QPAT and PatentExaminer have been discontinued, and they have been replaced by the Orbit.com portal.|
Data export in QPAT can be performed on a set of QPAT results; it can be performed for an entire hit list, or for selected documents within the hit list. It can also be performed for a set of saved results, from the Patent Examiner interface (separate subscription required). Version 6 of QPAT both significantly increased export speeds, and expanded the number of documents that can be exported at one time, to 2,500. File formats supported by the QPAT export function include: Word (.rtf), Adobe (.pdf), Text (.txt), Excel (.xls), and XML (.xml, full or "lite" versions available).
Before a document can be exported, it must be selected by the user. Each document in a QPAT results set has an associated check box, which can be ticked to mark it as a candidate for export. The check box appears on both the QPAT full text record view, and next to the document number on the hit list page. The features of the check box are described further in the Flagging Results section.
Check boxes may be selected individually to mark documents as candidates for data export. Alternatively, all check boxes in the entire hit list can be immediately checked using the “select all” command at the top of the screen.
Once the desired document set is chosen, the “export” command in the menu bar will open the dialog window for data export. The options in this window will change depending on the initial file format selection. Users must decide which file format they wish to export the data into, which bibliographic data points they wish to export, and, if they have chosen a text export, which “template” (“Classical” or “First page style”) they would like to use. In the figure below, the user wishes to export all bibliographic data from the “Document” display format into a PDF file using the “Classical” layout. To see which data elements each QPAT display format contains, see the Viewing Bibliographic Records section.
In the export screen shown in the figure above, there are options to include other information in the export in addition to bibliographic data. From QPAT, users may choose to export the claims, description, or key content sections of the document; there is also an option to include legal status information in the export. Notably, not all of these options can be selected at once: the user can select one or more of the text sections, or the legal status option, but cannot export both text and legal status data together. In addition, these options are only shown when FamPat records are being exported; exporting full text records which have not been "grouped into families" via the interface menu bar cannot include these data elements during export.
A January 2008 update made exports from the Patent Examiner accessory program almost equal in functionality to the export feature within QPAT (for more about Patent Examiner, see Saving Results.) The difference is that while users may export QPAT's “key content” and legal status content for documents from the FamPat file, these data elements are not available for documents exported from Patent Examiner. (However, the option to export the description and claims text sections is available from both export functions.) In addition, it is notable that user-defined fields and annotations are exportable from Patent Examiner workfiles, but not from QPat.
If an individual reference is exported into PDF format, the final document might look something like the figure below. Notice that the document number is hyperlinked: selecting this link will load the QPAT record (provided that the user is currently logged in). In addition, the export includes icons that link to document facsimile images, drawing mosaics, the dynamic citation graph feature and the legal status register for the patent in question. These links will appear in both PDF and RTF export documents.
The inclusion of active links to document images, drawing mosaics, the citation graph feature, and legal status registers is notable because these features can be accessed even by users who do not have a QPat username and password. This feature adds value that searchers may pass on to the recipients of the search results, improving reporting.
In contrast, if the export function was performed on a set of many patent documents in order to extract their bibliographic details into an Excel (.xml) file, the end document might look something more like the figure below.
Finally, the February 2009 release of QPAT 6.8 now allows users to export FamPat family data with one document number per cell. This is in contrast to the older format, shown in the figure above, where the export feature assigned a single family accession number per row, and listed each document in the FamPat family within a single cell in the spreadsheet.
Export features are definitely useful, and are available through most major subscription search engines. Most services offer both general types: the text export (via Word, PDF or text documents), and the spreadsheet-style export (generally in Excel-compatible formats). These features are not much use to the search process, but are useful at the end of the search.
In general, text-style exports can be useful when included in a report for the search recipient. In QPAT specifically, users may also rely on text exports another reason: the system will not display all full text sections (abstract, description, claims etc) on a single screen, which means a text export might be a useful substitute for the QPAT record view, for in-depth reading. (This would be applicable especially if the user did not have Patent Examiner, QPAT’s associated analysis tool, which is also designed for in-depth analysis).
Spreadsheet-style exports are created whenever users wish to create a database of patents. This can be especially useful for projects on a large scale, where users may wish to create trend graphs from data on thousands of documents. To do this, users might export an entire hit list or saved results set into an Excel spreadsheet to use the graphing features there. It’s worth noting that QPAT is not perfectly suited for this kind of project: although the export limit has been raised to 2,500 records with version 6, it is still quite low compared to other systems. For example, MicroPatent allows up to 20,000 document records in a single export.
The 2009 release of QPAT 6.8, which allows users to create spreadsheets with one family member (or patent document number) per row, has several benefits. Specifically, it may help QPAT's export data become more compatible with other analysis tools, and in general users will appreciate the additional flexibility.