Need Help with International Patents

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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:39 pm

Need Help with International Patents

Post by a497652958 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:32 am


I am conducting research on international patents, and trying to find the same patent but different grant date and publication date in different receiving offices.

A situation could be like this, for example : Apple registered a patent under USPTO, but Apple later want the patent to be protected in China, so Apple filed the same patent in China Patent Office.

It is easy to identify Apple Chinese patents, but how could I match the Chinese Apple patents with the American Apple patents, and eventually find out when the same patents are grated respectively in U.S and China?

Is this something PATSTAT can help with?

(PS: Can I find when a patent is grated? it seems that under tls201_appln, there is only filing date and publication date or is publication date here means grant date?)

Many Thanks,
Musso Du

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Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 5:33 pm

Re: Need Help with International Patents

Post by EPO / PATSTAT Support » Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:34 am

Hi Musso,

You asked 2 questions:

1) As you mentioned, the same invention can be filed as patent (and probably later granted) in several jurisdictions. Such a group of patent is called “patent family”. There are multiple definitions of what precisely makes a patent family. The EPO uses two family types, and both are in PATSTAT.

The DOCDB family, also called simple family:
The applications which are members of a DOCDB family are (practically) identical, so all applications cover for the same invention. Typically this family is used for statistical analysis.

The INPADOC family, also called extended family:
This is a broader concept than the DOCDB family, so INPADOC families are larger. An INPADO>C family consist of 1 or more DOCDB families.
The applications which are members of an INPADOC family may be more loosely and indirectly related via priorities, continuations etc,, so their content can be quite varied.

Every application belongs to exactly 1 DOCDB family and to exactly 1 INPADOC family.
More details can be found in ... ilies.html

2) How to find out the grant date: Typically there a publication issued when a patent is granted. These publications are identified in the publication table TLS211_PAT_PUBLN by the attribute PUBLN_FIRST_GRANT. The date of publications is then the date of grant.
As usual, there are exceptions:
  • There are countries (like MX, BR, JP, CN?, ...) which do not publish the grant, so there is no record in TLS211_PAT_PUBLN.. To get more complete grant information, you could also check the legal events in TLS231_INPADOC_LEGAL_EVENT. In the next PATSTAT edition (2018 Autumn) we will also take legal events into account when computing the GRANTED attribute in TLS201_APPLN. Also, we will introduce an EVENT_CATEGORY_CODE in the reference table TLS803_LEGAL_EVENT_CODE, and a value ‘F’ will indicate a granting event (cf. WIPI ST. 27 ... -27-01.pdf ).
  • For Austrian (AT) utility models the actual grant date is 2 month before the granting publication. But this is likely a very minor issue.
PATSTAT Support Team
EPO - Vienna
patstat @

Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:39 pm

Re: Need Help with International Patents

Post by a497652958 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:23 pm

Huge Thanks!

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