Thursday, February 16, 2012

About technical relationships (TLS205)

Among patent priorities a special cathegory is technical realtionships.

In Patstat Manual the definition of TLS205_Tech_rel is “patents which have been technically linked by patent examiners on the basis of similar content” and this gives as really few information about the kind of patents under examination.

It could be very interesting understand if there is a difference between the patents contained in the TLS_212_CITATION as cited patents and the ones contained in the TLS205_TECH_REL as patents with a technological relationship with a patent of reference.

To investigate this issue I started taking all the appln_id of the reference patent in both tables, and then I checked if there was a correspondence between the cited patents and the patent with a technological relationship. The result is that on 2400000 records contained il TLS205 just 800 appear in both tables.

But if we read the description of the DOCDB and INPADOC family we see that the fact that some patents are group in this particular way means that most probably the applications share exactly the same priorities (Paris Convention or technical relation) as in table TLS204_PRIOR_APPLN and TLS205_TECH_REL and tls216_APPLN_CONTN”. So this sentence gives us a real clue about the kind of patent that we are handling (even if it could be argued that including technical realtionship in family definition could give a bias since it's defined by examiner).

Another tool that provide information about this table is the Link Method Indicator (LMI ) also called priority-linkage-type. It answers at the question: “Is the document-id in application-reference = document-id in the prioritiy-claim data-format="docdb", ignoring the filing-date? ” with a NO, case #5 that means that exists a technical relation between the two patents adding a note in which it is explained that the technically related documents are those patent documents whose technical content has been identified within the EPO as being considered equivalent”.
So I can conclude that all the patents contained in TLS205_TECH_REL are very useful to study the duplication of patents.

(written in collaboration with Monica Coffano)

Monday, February 13, 2012

OECD complementary patent datasets

OECD's complementary patent datasets - Triadic Patent Families, Citations, REGPAT -have been updated end January 2012, based on PATSTAT, October 2011.
The datasets can be downloaded upon request.

The OECD REGPAT database, January 2011 edition, allocates applicant's and inventor's addresses to micro-regions for more than 30 countries. It covers patent applications filed to the EPO and PCT patents at international phase. Data mainly derives from PATSTAT, October 2011. The regional allocation is based on the latest Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS), 2006 for European regions, and on Territorial Level 3 for other countries. Note that for EU-27 countries, the REGPAT database now integrates data regionalised by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL, INCENTIM/ECOOM) on behalf of Eurostat.

The OECD Triadic Patent Families (TPF), January 2012 edition, covers patent applications filed to the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that share a same set of priorities. The data was compiled using PATSTAT, October 2011.

The OECD Citation database, January 2012 edition, covers citations of patent and non-patent literature (NPL) in patents taken at the EPO or filed through the PCT. The data is derived from PATSTAT, October 2011. The OECD Citation database mainly relies on the previous structure proposed in Webb et al. (2005). In addition to the list of cited patents and NPL, it proposes a list of EP or WO equivalents to patents cited, in order to facilitate further consolidation of the data.

The OECD HAN database, July 2011 edition, provides a grouping of patent applicants names extracted from PATSTAT, PERSON table. Revisions of this are currently underway. An updated edition of OECD HAN shall be ready in the coming months.

All the OECD datasets include links to PATSTAT's identifiers (Person_id, Appln_id, NPL_publn_id), so that it can be easily connected to PATSTAT October 2011 (April 2011 for the OECD HAN data).

The datasets are available for download to researchers: please send an e-mail to to request access (mention OECD patent database in the title, and specify the name of the dataset you're interested in). Further methodological information are available on the OECD web site at

Furthermore, note that predefined indicators on patents are provided on the OECD statistics portal at , both at regional and country levels, for selected technology domains (ICT, Biotech, Nanotech, Environmental related technologies).

Hélène Dernis

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

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