Table PERS_APPLN : violation of primary key, errors?

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Posts: 6
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 6:18 pm

Table PERS_APPLN : violation of primary key, errors?

Post by ndbac41 » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:47 am

I'm in the middle of uploading the latest PATSTAT version, and I encounter a problem I already reported years ago: the suggested primary key for table PERS_APPLN is not valid, i.e. the combination of fields PERSON_ID and APPLN_ID is not unique.

First of all, the suggested primary key is not the logical primary key, the logical primary key is the combination of fields APPLN_ID, APPLT_SEQ_NR and INVT_SEQ_NR (a patent is related to applicants and inventors).

From a practical perspective, I agree it makes sense to make the combination of PERSON_ID and APPLN_ID the primary key (individual searches will mostly target APPLN_ID and PERSON_ID, and rarely APPLT_SEQ_NR or INVT_SEQ_NR).

But, as said, this primary key cannot be validated, the same combination of APPLN_ID and PERSON_ID can occur multiple times.

Just one example:

15370756 14864515 2 0
15370756 14864515 1 0

The same person is assigned to the same patent as first and second applicant.

This does not make sense. What is going on?

Tom Magerman

Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:51 pm

Re: Table PERS_APPLN : violation of primary key, errors?

Post by nico.rasters » Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:02 pm

From the documentation: "Conceptually, the combination of PERSON_ID and APPLN_ID should be unique. In practice, due to duplicates in the source data also the attributes APPLT_SEQ_NR and INVT_SEQ_NR must be part of the Primary Key."
So they are aware of the issue, but just haven't corrected it yet.

Btw, note that there is a new TLS209 table. ...
Nico Doranov
Data Manager

Daigu Academic Services & Data Stewardship

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