It says lapsed for US6493686, but I do not understand why. Is this information up to date?
How can I determine the reason for this patent having lapsed, for example if it was abandoned for non-payment, where could I find that out?
USPTO PAIR can be found at:- http://portal.uspto.gov/pair/PublicPair
put the patent number and select the corresponding radio button
review the information:-
For example your patent document was expired due to non payment, but its related patent application also called parent application was found to be active. therefore you should know about family patent US5946673;
Earlier an answer has been made to know about family patents See Find family memeber