Downloading INPADOC Coverage

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INPADOC (INternational PAtent DOCumentation) bibliographic coverage (also known as the DOCDB database) is a well known standard-bearer in the area of international patent document bibliographic data. The INPADOC/DOCDB bibliographic file, also known as the PFS file covers over 90 countries, all of which provide updates to INPADOC at varying schedules. The INPADOC legal status file, also known as the PRS file, contains legal status information from about 60 patenting authorities.

For more detailed information on INPADOC, see our wiki article on INPADOC and DOCDB.

Access to the INPADOC bibliographic database and legal status databases is available for free through the Espacenet patent search system, which can be found at the Espacenet homepage.

Downloading INPADOC Coverage

To download the latest version of the coverage spreadsheet for the PFS and PRS files, first go here. This link contains the most recent coverage spreadsheet, which is updated weekly. The target file containing INPADOC bibliographic coverage by country will have this description: "Contents and coverage of the DOCDB bibliographic file". The screenshot below shows which link you should select to download and open the target file.

In the figure below, the text box points out how to download the INPADOC/DOCDB bibliographic file, also known as the PFS (or Patent Family Services) file. Directly beneath that link, there is also an option for users to download a spreadsheet with coverage data on the INPADOC legal status file, also known as the PRS (or Patent Register Services) file.

This XLS file, containing INPADOC/DOCDB bibliographic coverage by country, is also known as the PFS (Patent Family Services) coverage file.

An example XLS file of this spreadsheet for Week 29 of 2008 is available here.

Screenshot of the PFS spreadsheet for week 15 of 2012.

These are the columns of data for each country (or region) of coverage available in the INPADOC bibliographic (PFS) file:

  • CC – this is the country code abbreviation
  • Authority – this is the name of the country or regional office
  • Date – from and until, where from is the start of the coverage and until is the end of the coverage
  • Numbers – from and until, where from is the start of the coverage and until is the end of the coverage
  • Kind of data – the name of the type of data on each row, eg. Publ. Application, Patent, or Utility Model
  • Gaps – known major gaps in coverage
  • DOCDB Kind Code – these are the suffix kind codes used by INPADOC related to the "Kind of data" column. Users should be cautious about using these numbers: individual search systems may not use these same kind codes when referring to specific document types (although it is very likely they will at least use some variation, such as only using A for A1 documents).

Keys to the contents of the INPADOC legal status (PRS) file are available for download as well. Users can access all EPO "Useful tables and statistics, codes and coverage" here (download tables updated weekly, like the INPADOC coverage file, or regularly, like the "Kind code concordance list").

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