New Analysis Fields for US Application Data

We are always looking for new ways to save you time, earn you money or make you a hero around the office.  So in this recent release, we added three new fields to the database to help you search and analyze US patent applications.

This article highlights the new data elements, how to use them, and why they are important.

new-patent-application-fields

Pendency

The amount of time between the file date and the grant date is called the patent’s pendency.   The Pendency (Days) column holds an integer that represents the number of days since the application was filed.  The field is incremented by 7 days each week when the database is re-indexed.  If the patent is ultimately granted, the pendency column stops incrementing and remains fixed. The Pendency column applies to US and all international collections.  The Pendency column is sortable; making it easy to find patents that have unusually long or short pendency or applications whose pendency is so long that the likelihood of them ever granting is negligible, which can help you assess IP risk (see Excel chart below).

You can search the Pendency field directly using the ANA_PEND field code and AcclaimIP’s advanced syntax.  Since the Pendency field is an integer, it is most useful to search by using range queries.  For example:

ANA_PEND:[* to 730] →  Shows documents (applications and granted patents) with a pendency less than two years (730 Days).

I ran a set of ANA_PEND queries and dumped the data to Excel to create the following visualization.  This analysis took about 10 minutes to think about and 10 minutes to actually create using the ANA_PEND field.  Don’t minimize its significance just because it is now relatively easy.

The data below is original research that would have taken a few days to create without the ANA_PEND or Pendency field! I seriously don’t think you could develop a chart like this in any other software without spending at least a full day of heads-down analysis.  I will write an expanded article on this chart in a future post because the trends themselves are interesting if you carry out the analysis across multiple years.

pendency-analysis-us-patents-2012

Granted Patent Number

When a US patent application grants, a patent is published which is a new document with a new number.  The patent number appears in the Granted Patent Number (GPN) field of the parent application. If an application is still pending or abandoned the GPN field will be empty.  GPN only applies to US applications; therefore in other collections, including US grants and all international collections, the GPN field is empty as well.

Granted Patent Number field can be queried directly using the GPN field code.  For example:

GPN:8123321  →  finds the parent application publication of the ‘321 patent.

I think the best use for the GPN field is as a column in the Search Result window.  We created the field for a specific use-case.  Patent managers are occasionally given a list of application numbers and asked to determine; one, if the patent has been granted, and two, if yes, then provide the granted patent number.  GPN is an exportable field, making this analysis a snap.  This analysis could take days of monotonous clicking before we had the GPN field.

If you are familiar with the “FIELD” query for finding empty or not-empty fields, then you can use it combined with the GPN query to find applications that have been granted.  For example:

FIELD:isnotemptyGPN  →  Finds applications that have been granted.  Why?  Because granted applications contain a patent number in that field meaning the GPN field is NOT empty.

Alternatively:

…AND FIELD:isemptyGPN  →  Eliminates granted applications from your analysis because granted patent applications would not be empty, that is, they would contain a granted patent number.  This is just one option for eliminating granted applications from your analysis, which is important when charting because you don’t want to count the same invention twice (once for the application, and once for the granted patent).

FIELDisempty


PEND Field Code and Application Status Column and Facet

PEND is a Boolean (T/F) field that is true (T) if an application is pending (that is, not yet granted), and false (F), if an application has been granted (that is, there is a corresponding granted patent with the same application serial number).

The Application Status column in the Search Result window maps the Boolean T and F to the more readable words “Pending” and “Granted” respectively.  The same words Pending/Granted also appear in the exports if you request the PEND field in your Excel exports.

patent-application-status

The Application Status facet in the Refine panel uses the PEND field.  If you check either Pending or Granted in the facet, AcclaimIP constructs the query illustrated below.

effective-patent-query

I wanted to show this because the double-negative construct “NOT PEND:false” is used because like the GPN field, PEND only applies to US applications and is empty for all other collections.  Therefore a PEND:true query (which you would think is the same as the “NOT PEND:false”) would actually eliminate US grants and international documents where the PEND field is empty.  For me this concept creates a little brain damage, but it works and gives you the results you want.

Conclusion

The three new fields, their columns and facets give you new capability to analyze patent application trends, present your analysis more accurately and perform common tasks much quicker.

If you find a new way to use the new field codes that I have not addressed here, let me know and I’ll pass it on.

TTFN,

Matt Troyer

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