The LexisNexis family (also referred to as "patent family" or "family") of the document entered. The patent family can be searched for by the publication number, patent number, or application number of any of its members. However, note that, regardless of the document number entered, the document number of the family representative is displayed for the entire patent family. You can customize which document is displayed as the family representative.
To define the LexisNexis family, PatentSight uses a family definition following the principles of the DOCDB simple family as defined by the EPO:
"A simple patent family is a collection of patent documents that are considered to cover a single invention. The technical content covered by the applications is considered to be identical. Members of a simple patent family will all have exactly the same priorities." http://www.epo.org/searching-for-patents/helpful-resources/first-time-here/patent-families/docdb.html
According to this definition, documents with the exact same set of priorities are considered to cover the same technical content and are therefore grouped into one patent family.
While divisional and continuations belong to the same patent family as their parent application, continuations in part (CIPs) are not considered to cover the exact same technical content and therefore do not belong to the same patent family.
Patent Family Representative
Patent Family Representative Chosen by PatentSight
Each patent family is represented by a family representative that is displayed in charts, tables, the Result List, the search panel, and any exported file. The PatentSight default family representative is selected based on the following rules:
- The PatentSight family representative is selected in the following order of authorities: EP, US, WO, GB, CA, AU, DE etc. Hereby, only those authorities in which the patent family is active are considered.
- If a family includes one EP document as a member, this member is selected as it’s the representative document. If a family includes more than one EP document as members, the document with the earliest publication date is selected.
How to Change the Patent Family Representative
In your account settings, you can adjust the representative document selected as the family representative for each patent family.
i. Access the three dots menu in the main tool bar and select "Account Settings."
ii. Under "Account Settings", open the tab "Family Representative".
iii. Select one of the available choices (e.g., "Document with First Publication Date"). Alternatively, you can select "Custom Choice" and
Tip: To further adjust how the system selects the patent family representative, you can directly enter country and kind codes into the field displayed under "Custom Choice".
Other Patent Family Definitions
The smallest unit of analysis available in the PatentSight BI is the DOCDB simple patent family as defined by the European Patent Office. An alternative family is the INPADOC extended family, which has the following definition:
"An extended patent family is a collection of patent documents covering a technology. The technical content covered by the applications is similar, but not necessarily the same. Members of an extended patent family will have at least one priority in common with at least one other member - either directly or indirectly."http://www.epo.org/searching-for-patents/helpful-resources/first-time-here/patent-families/inpadoc.html
PatentSight does not use this definition. Instead, the smallest unit of analysis available in the PatentSight BI is the DOCDB simple patent family. The main advantage of the DOCDB simple patent family over the INPADOC family is that patent documents in an INPADOC family can have members with only partially overlapping priorities. Therefore, documents that have little in common can be compiled in a chain-like manner. Ultimately, INPADOC families may become too broad for technology benchmarking purposes.
However, for each LexisNexis Family, the PatentSight BI offers information regarding the corresponding INPADOC family IDs. If needed, you can search by the INPADOC family ID:
You can also display INPADOC family IDs in charts and tables:
Note: Due to the difference in definitions, more than one LexisNexis family can have the same INPADOC family ID. Please consider differences in patent family definitions when → Importable Number Format. matching, or tagging patents in the PatentSight BI.