In this release, we have added several very helpful features for IDS data import and comparison to our tools based on the new data we can download from the USPTO’s Patent Center.
Improvements to IDS Data Import
We’ve reworked the interface for the IDS generation tool to make entering both published and NPL entries simpler. In addition, you can now import entries from other IDS forms and also IDS data in ZIP and XML files downloaded from the Patent Center. You can also import all prior art data for a given application # directly from the IDS tool – simply specify the application or patent # and we’ll try to download all IDS forms (in XML) from the Patent Center for that publication. The import includes both patent entries and NPLs!
The XML import only works for the applicant-cited IDS/SB08a forms, since the Patent Center doesn’t host PTO-892 forms in text format yet. Still, this is a significant improvement and lets you quickly scrub a given application number for the listed prior art, including NPLs. Note that sometimes those IDS forms have been OCRed by the USPTO prior to XML conversion, so they occasionally have inaccuracies, but overall the data quality seems quite good.
Improvements to IDS Comparison
You can now compare both publications and NPL data cited between patent families (or files or directories with files in PDF, ZIP, XML, and text formats). The updated IDS Diff tool lets you see what prior art has been cited in one patent application vs another by connecting to Patent Center. Once you specify two application numbers, the tool will download all IDS forms (in XML format) for each application and provide you with the list of items that are missing or are common to each of the applications. From there, you can use those entries to generate new IDS forms. We’ll be adding even more IDS comparison and cross-citation tracking tools in the near future, so stay tuned.