PlusPat Patent Family Search
 
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Patent Number  

  Example : US5123456
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Application Number  

  Example : 1997EP-0953543
Priority Number  
  Example : 1995FR-0010231
 
 
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What is a Patent Family?

An applicant seeking protection for an invention must file for a patent in each country where patent protection is desired. The worldwide applications and publications for an invention are collectively known as a patent family.

Typically, the applicant files for a patent first in his own country. Subsequent applications in other countries will claim priority rights based on this original application and filing date.

The application number and filing date for the original application are called the priority number and priority date.

A Questel family search will retrieve all documents in the PlusPat database that share at least one common priority number. It will include divisionals, continuations, and continuations-in-part in the family results.


Patent Family Search Tips

Typically, a Family Search is initiated by entering a Patent Number.

Family Searches can also be initiated with Application Numbers or Priority Numbers.

The Display Family button will directly display a family report with a summary table and integrated legal status information.

After displaying your Family, you can export the report in either RTF or HTML formats.


Entering Patent Numbers

Always enter two-character Country Code preceding the patent number.

Do not enter spaces, commas or slashes in the patent number.

Do not enter Publication Kind or Status Codes (A, B, etc.) with number.

Use four-digit year with patent numbers that include year and are published >=2000.

Use two-digit year with patent numbers that include year and are published < 2000.

Left fill with dashes for numbers with fewer digits than seven digits.


Patent Number Formatting: United States (US)

US Granted patents: US4444444

US-A1 Published Applications: US20010001328

US-E Reissue Patents: USRE37180


Patent Number Formatting: European (EP)

EP-A and EP-B Publications: EP1081432

For EP numbers with < 7 digits, left fill the number with dashes: EP--12345


Patent Number Formatting: PCT (WO)

For WO Applications published from 2000 onwards, use four-digit year and remove slash.

WO 01/33934 is entered as: WO200133934

For WO Applications published before 2000, use two-digit year and remove slash.

WO 99/00001 is entered as: WO9900001


Patent Number Formatting: Japan (JP)

For JP-A (Kokai) Unexamined Applications published from 2000 onwards, use four-digit year: JP2001000001

For JP-A (Kokai) Unexamined Applications published before 2000, use two-digit IMPERIAL year and fill in with zeros between "JPYY" and "number" for a total of 8 digits. JP 50 /2 A (1975) is entered as: JP50000002

For JP-B2 (Toroku) Granted patents published after 1996.05.29 - continuous series w/o year: JP25000002

For JP-C (Toroku) Granted patents published before 1996.05.29 - continuous series w/o year: JP746395

For JP-B (Koho) Examined Applications published until 1996.05-29, use two-digit Western year and fill in with zeros between "JPYY" and "number" for a total of 8 digits.JP 50 /2 B (1975) is entered as: JP75000002


Patent Number Formatting: Germany (DE)

For German publications, the following format would be used: DENNNNNNN(N), Where DE is the country code, followed by seven or 8 digits. If necessary, left fill number with - dash(s) to length of seven.

DE 9 78 074 is entered as: DE-978074

DE 29 14 929 is entered as: DE2914929

DE 199 64 155 is entered as: DE19964155


Patent Number Formatting: France (FR)

For French publications, the following format would be used: FRNNNNNNN. Where FR is the country code, followed by seven digits. If necessary, left with - dash(s).

FR 2801469 is entered as: FR2801469

FR 8505 is entered as: FR---8505


Patent Number Formatting: United Kingdom (GB)

For British publications, the following format should be used: GBNNNNNNN. Where GB is the country code, followed by seven digits. If necessary, left fill with - dash(s).

GB 2346402 is entered as: GB2346402

GB 114981 is entered as: GB-114981


Entering Application and Priority Numbers

For application numbers, enter the four-digit application year followed by the two-character country code, then a - (dash) followed by the application serial number with seven digits. When creating the serial number remove any year reference and left fill the serial number with 0's (zeroes).

EP 00105571, filed March 16, 2000, is entered as: 2000EP-0105571

US 857657, filed March 26, 1992, is entered as: 1992US-0857657

JP 64352, filed March 28, 1991, is entered as: 1991JP-0064352

CA 2166518, filed January 3, 1996, is entered as: 1996CA-2166518

FR 95/15888, filed December 29, 1995, is entered as 1995FR-0015888


Application/Priority Number Formatting: Utility Models

For Utility Model application numbers, enter the four-digit application year, followed by the two-letter country code, then a - (dash), then the letter U, followed by the application number with six digits. If necessary, left fill the serial number with 0's (zeroes).

ES 9800657 U, filed March 10, 1998, is entered as: 1998ES-U000657

DK 9800400 U, filed October 26, 1998, is entered as: 1998DK-U000400

DE 9113810 U, filed November 6, 1991, is entered as: 1991DE-U013810

See exception below for German Utility Models from 1995.


Application/Priority Number Formatting: Germany (DE) from 1995

For German application numbers filed after 1994, the first digit indicates the type of application (1 = patent application, 2 = utility model application). The second and third positions of the serial number are the year the application was filed. Remove this year reference from serial portion of the formatted number, when entering German serial numbers filed after 1994.

Enter the four-digit application year, followed by DE, then a - (dash), then the serial number, dropping the two-digit embedded year reference.

DE 19500138, filed January 4, 1995, is entered as: 1995DE-1000138

DE utility model application 29724568 U, filed November 11, 1997 is entered as: 1997DE-2024568


Application/Priority Number Formatting: PCT (WO)

For PCT application numbers, enter the four-digit application year, followed by WO code, then a - (dash), the two-letter country code where the application was filed, followed by the application number with five digits. If necessary, left fill the serial number with 0's (zeroes).

PCT/US97/11414, filed June 30, 1997, is entered as: 1997WO-US11414

PCT/FR94/01234, filed October 24, 1994, is entered as: 1994WO-FR01234


Application/Priority Number Formatting: Italy (IT) and India (IN)

Italy and India include two-letter city/region codes in their application numbers.

Enter the four-digit application year, followed by the two-letter country code, then a - (dash), the two-letter city/region code, followed by the application number with five digits. If necessary, left fill the serial number with 0's (zeroes).

IT SA 0010, filed June 12, 1996, is entered as: 1996IT-SA00010

IN CA 0330, filed May 15, 1992, is entered as: 1992IN-CA00330


Application/Priority Number Formatting: US Provisional Applications

For US Provisional application numbers, enter the four-digit application year, followed by US, then a - (dash), then the letter P, followed by the application number with six digits. If necessary, left fill the serial number with 0's (zeroes).

US provisional application 19252, filed June 30, 1998, is entered as: 1998US-P019252

US provisional application 316029, filed August 31, 2001, is entered as: 2001US-P316029


Coverage Notes

Questel family searches are conducted in the PlusPat database and include status data from the Legal Status database.

  • Bibliographic data: For the US and most of Europe coverage starts in the early 1920's. Most other country coverage starts in the 1970's.
  • Legal Status: United States, PCT, EPO, and most western European patent offices. Coverage generally starts in the early 1970's.