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I'd like to link to certain patents or patent applications filed with the USPTO.

Google Patents makes this relatively straightforward, hosting patents & applications at this URL scheme:

http://www.google.com/patents/[publication number]

URL schemes at the USPTO aren't so simple. An example of an application URL found at the Patent Application Full-Text and Image Database (AppFT):

http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1&p=1&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=3d.AS.&OS=an/3d&RS=AN/3d

Will that application permanently live at that link? And is there a simpler way to link to applications and granted patents at the USPTO?

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2 Answers 2

From the USPTO web site:

To the Full-Text of a Particular Patent: A special shortened URL format: http://patft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?patentnumber=5123456 where the patent number "5123456" may be replaced by any valid patent number within the database, has been established to enable users to more easily construct a URL for bookmarking or linking to the full-text of a single granted patent.

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Thanks George. This seems to work for patents, but what about pending applications? –  SamtheBrand Feb 8 '13 at 20:28
    
Good info here, thanks –  Yorick Feb 8 '13 at 22:06
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I have not found an equivalent scheme for published applications but will keep looking. It seems that google may not have found this - their links to USPTO use the very long URL format. –  George White Feb 9 '13 at 0:18

Creating a URL to the USPTO's published applications is ugly.

But, if you have a number of publications, one work-around is to create the links in the format required by the USPTO by using Excel functions and macros. A list of publication numbers can be placed in a first column, while portions of the constant 'boilerplate' text is placed in a second column, interspersed with references to the first column (in this case, 3 times).

For example, grabbing the USPTO's URL after typing in an arbitrary publication number (20010000044) yields;

http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%2220010000044%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/20010000044&RS=DN/20010000044

In order to create equivalent links for a series of publications, place the publication numbers in column A (say, starting with row 1). In cell B1, insert the following;

="http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG01&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=%22"&A1&"%22.PGNR.&OS=DN/"&A1&"&RS=DN/"&A1

The above string is identical to the copied URL except that an equal sign has been prepended, the three sections of boiler plate text have been surrounded by quotation marks, and where the publication number once existed (3 places), it has been replaced with &A1& (or &A1 at the very end of the string).

What this mess does is create a text string which consists of the verbatim material contained in quotation marks, interspersed with the number found in cell A1 (3 times). The ampersands contained outside of the quotation marks are used by Excel to stitch the verbatim text and referenced cell together into a single text string.

Next, use the Macro editor to create a routine which converts the text string into a hyperlink. A somewhat outdated (2008) set of instructions on how to do this can be found at:

http://www.jerryleventer.com/excel-tutorial-how-to-convert-plain-text-links-into-hyperlinks/

Once you've gone to the trouble of creating cell B1, you can copy it and then paste to all cells in column 'B' for which you have a publication number in column 'A' of the same row.

Then, using the Macro, you can convert all the populated cells of column 'B' to hyperlinks. There are ways to incrementally improve this. For example, the three sections of boilerplate text can be stored in individual cells and referenced using 'absolute' references. Also, aliases can be created to hide the strings complexity, and/or, the column width can be minimized. The table of patents and publications, with their hyperlinks can then be copied into Word documents.

The same approach can be used for patents. It is admittedly BUTT UGLY (as is public PAIR's requirement to deal with Captcha every few minutes, but that's another topic).

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