Report:TotalPatent/Data Coverage/Patent Coverage/Legal Status Information

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Legal Status Information

Legal status data in TotalPatent is from the EPO’s INPADOC bibliographic and family file, which contains legal status data for 61 different patenting authorities, and is updated weekly.[1] The legal status data for any patent document can be recalled by choosing the “Legal” display when viewing any patent document (See Viewing Full Text for more information on available display formats for patent data).

The legal status display window includes the publication (or application) number and date for the document, along with the title of the document in all available languages (French and English titles are displayed in the example below). As seen in the figure below, TotalPatent also offers the common color-coding system, not unique to TotalPatent, often used for INPADOC legal data which shows a “positive” action (towards grant or enforceability) in green, and a “negative” status action (towards expiry/withdrawal) in red; “neutral” events are not color coded. The legal status events in the life of a patent document are represented by a set of standardized codes, which can be found on the EPO website.[2]

The Legal Status Display field. Negative legal events are shown as a red “-"; positive are shown as a green “+”.

Users can also view US court documents related to a particular US patent by selecting the "CourtLink" display (this information is only available for US patents).[3] Selecting this display will show a list of all US court cases related to the current patent, including the docket number, docket description, court, and date filed.[4]

The CourtLink display of all US court documents related to a US patent. Select the docket number to open the the case record through CourtLink®.

Users can select the hyper-linked docket number to open the full case description in a new window. According to the User Guide, "the data is provided by LexisNexis Courtlink and is available without a specific Courtlink subscription plan."[3]

The full case description available through CourtLink.

Unusually, TotalPatent includes extra data at the end of each International Patent Classification (IPC) code, which appear in the form of various dates, words and letters. As an example, a code could be written as:

IPC[8]: C07D215/22 (2006-01-01; A, , N, 2008-05-31; R, M, EP).

The figure below shows how these codes appear in the bibliographic record.

Example of IPC Reform class information in TotalPatent.

The data is present in accordance with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) standards set forth for IPC – Reform codes. In this example, the date that appears in parenthesis (2006-01-01) would represent the version of the code; this particular version represents January 1, 2006, the date of the formal introduction of IPC-reform codes (version 8), so it is known that this code was part of the initial IPC8 classification scheme. The second date is the “action date,” or the date upon which the code was assigned to the patent document, and in this case, the action of assigning the code was performed on 5/31/2008. The letters at the end of the code are used to designate various properties of the code, including:

  • Classification level - Core, Advanced, or Subgroup - C, A, or S
  • First or Later position of symbol – F or L (not included in the example above)
  • Classification value, Inventive or Non-Inventive - I or N
  • Original or Re-classified data – B (Basic or original data), R (Reclassified data), V (various incidental changes), D (data to be deleted)
  • Country code for the generating office (the patent issuing authority that assigned that particular IPC code to the document)
  • IPC8 Source Code - Defines whether the Source Code in IPC8 was Human Generated (H), Machine Generated (M), or Software Generated (G)

Finally, In addition to INPADOC legal status data, TotalPatent also provides a link to the free US government registry site, USPTO PAIR. The figure below shows a link to PAIR from a US patent document’s record in the system.

A link to USPTO pair appears next to document application data.

LexisNexis adds USPTO reassignment data into the database on a weekly basis. US reassignment data is included in a general assignee name search through TotalPatent, but it can also be searched independently using the field "assigneeaftissue()" where the assignee name of interest is placed within the parentheses.[5]

editors note iconEditor's Note:

As the INPADOC file is dependent on national data feeds, and it is only updated weekly, the most reliable, up-to date legal status data for any patent document of interest should be ascertained by checking the national legal status register for that country whenever possible. Some countries have placed their national registers online, while others have not.


  1. "Contents and coverage of the INPADOC legal status file" Available on the EPO website at Accessed May 11, 2012.
  2. "How Do I View a Patent's Legal Status?" LexisNexis website, Accessed May 10, 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "LexisNexis® TotalPatent™ User Guide." LexisNexis website, (restricted). Accessed May 10, 2012.
  4. "How Do I View Court Dockets Related to a Patent?" LexisNexis website, Accessed May 10, 2012.
  5. Personal e-mail communication from TotalPatent representative, October 21, 2010.
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