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Data Coverage Summary

Patent Coverage

The platform searches three global patent collections that contain bibliographic data for all three files and full text for two collections:[1]

  • PlusPat - This collection provides bibliographic coverage for about 95 patent authorities (same as the FamPat collection), including utility models available for 33 countries. A single record combines all publication stages of the invention, including the published application and the granted patent, for one patent authority.
  • The Full Text Collection - This collection contains the full text (and bibliographic data) of patent publications from 21 patent authorities (WO, US, EP, AT, BE, BR, CA, CH, CN, DE, ES, FR, GB, JP, RU, DK, FI, SE, IN, TW and KR), and a single record will contain full text data (claims and description) of one publication stage for one patent authority. According to the Questel help file, the publication contained in a record may include published patent or utility model applications, granted patents or utility models, examined publications and PCT transfers.
  • FamPat - The FamPat records combine all publication stages of documents within an invention-based family, and full-text claims and descriptions are included for the same 21 authorities listed above. The full-text claims and description are listed for only one representative publication from a FamPat family within each record. The FamPat collection has equivalent bibliographic coverage to PlusPat, covering about 95 authorities.

editors note iconEditor's Note:

The coverage section of the Questel website is rather misleading because it does not differentiate between which patent and non-patent literature files are available on, and which files are only available on other Questel platforms (like the command line QWEB platform). Factsheets are provided for both patent and non-patent files, some of which are not available on the platform at all. These are some examples of files which are NOT available on, but factsheets are still available for them on the Questel website:

  • The SciTech and Other (mostly trademark) files for non-patent literature.
  • CRXX - Claims Reassignments and Reexaminations: US reassigned and reexamined patents
  • DWPI/DWPX/DWPIMV - Derwent World Patent Index
  • DWPIMC - Derwent Manual Code Classifications
  • FRJURISP - Patent, Trademark and Design Jurisprudence
  • IFIPAT / IFIUDB / IFICDB - US Patents and US Published Applications
  • LITA - LitAlert: US Patent and Trademark Litigation
  • NPL - Non-Patent Literature References
  • PHARM - Database of pharmaceutical patents The bibliographic file linked to the Markush structure database MPHARM (Markush DARC search system)
  • REGI - Claims REGIstry file: Dictionary of specific chemical compounds for crossfile searching with the IFI/Plenum patent databases
  • WPAM - Derwent World Patents Index merged with APIPAT

It would be helpful if the coverage section of the Questel website was updated to more accurately reflect the current coverage structure of, and files not available on the platform should be clearly labeled.

In addition to the above files listed as fact sheets in the coverage section that aren't available at all on, other full-text patent database fact sheets are listed that include files incorporated into FamPat and Full Text collections. According to a Questel representative, 26 individual full text databases are grouped together under 21 full text authorities (since, for example, three databases are used to make up the US full-text collection) to create the Full Text file and the full text section of the FamPat file.[2] Four databases serve as sources for FamPat without full-text, including PlusPat (which contains identical bibliographic coverage to FamPat). The user guide gives an overview of the source databases for FamPat and the Full Text collection:[3]

  • PLUSPAT/FAMDESC/PATABS/LGST - FamPat without full text
  • USAPPS US – USA: patent applications
  • USPAT US – USA: patents issued
  • USPATOLD US – USA: patent Archives
  • PCTFULL WO – PCT applications
  • EPAPAT EP – EPO: patent applications
  • EPBPAT EP – EPO: patents issued
  • DEFULLA DE – Germany: patent applications
  • DEFULLB DE – Germany: patents issued
  • DEFULLU DE – Germany: utility models
  • GBFULL GB – United Kingdom
  • FRFULL FR – France
  • JPFULL JP – Japan
  • ATFULL AT – Austria
  • BEFULL BE – Belgium
  • CHFULL CH – Switzerland
  • ESFULL ES – Spain
  • CNFULLA CN – China: patent applications
  • CNFULLU CN – China: utility models
  • CNFULLC CN – China: patents issued
  • CAFULL CA – Canada
  • LATIFULL BR – Brazil
  • RUFULL RU/SU – Russia
  • SCANFULL DK/FI/SE – Denmark/Finland/Sweden
  • INFULL IN – India
  • KRCLMS KR – South Korea
  • TWFULL TW – Taiwan


Four main types of patent images are accessible on under the full record view: representative images, mosaics, full first page of the representative publication, and the complete facsimile of the representative publication. The Questel help file states that in PlusPat, first page drawings are available for:[1]

  • US from 1880
  • EP and WO from 1978
  • JP-Kokai from 1980
  • GB from 1920
  • FR from 1978
  • DE from 1980
  • CA from 1989
  • KR from 1979
  • CN from 1985
  • TW from 2004
  • BR from 2009

Additionally, The coverage chart which illustrates all full text patent collections available on (accessible through FamPat or Full Text files) indicates that images, mosaics, and/or full PDFs are available for the following full text authorities:[4]

  • Image Availability - CA, CN, EP, FR, DE, JP, KR, WO, RU, CH, TW, US
  • Mosaic Availability - AT, BE, CA, EP, FR, DE, JP (2004+), CH, GB, US (2008+)
  • PDF Availability - BR (1975+), CA (1978+), CN (2010+), DE (2000+), EP (2005+), FI (2000+), FR (1973+), DE (1976+), IN (1912+) , JP (2004+) , WO (2003+), ES (1980+), SE (2000+), GB (2008+), US applications (2001+), US granted (2007+)

Finally, the PDF copies from over 30 countries are available from the following patent authorities collections: German, US, Australian, Canadian, European, Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean Patent Offices.[5] The help file states that "the availability of documents is dependent on the contents of the archives of these offices. There may be gaps in PDF coverage for some countries."[5]

See the Image Coverage section of this report for more information about patent images available through

Family Data

Three types of families are displayed on the platform:

  • PlusPat Families - This family type simply groups together all publication stages for a single patent. This is also known as a "domestic" patent family, or a "type 5" family as defined by WIPO.[6] After a user conducts a search through the PlusPat or FullText collections on Orbit, the PlusPat family members (the domestic patent family) appear to be displayed under the "Published As" section of the record.
  • FamPat Families - FamPat family data is only displayed when the user searches in the FamPat file. The international family groupings in this file are constructed by a strict methodology intended to create small groupings of closely related documents; the algorithm used to accomplish this is unique to this file. According to the Questel website, a single family record in FamPat combines together all publication stages of the family, and the FamPat family definition incorporates the EPO’s strict family rule with additional rules to include:[1]
    • Applications falling outside the 12 month filing limit;
    • Links between EP and PCT publications;
    • Combining US Provisionals that share the same priority with US Published Applications.
    • FamPat’s family definitions also incorporate different patenting authorities’ definitions of an invention, particularly useful with Japanese publication searching.
  • INPADOC Families - The EPO-produced INPADOC database creates families out of all documents linked to one originating application number, whether they are linked directly or indirectly. The extended INPADOC family data is assembled using the data in the FamPat file, and the option to retrieve the INPADOC family is displayed in the far left pane of the full record view for a FamPat record, beneath the patent family list. Users may choose the "Find INPADOC family" link to conduct a family search for the FamPat record.

For more information on patent family coverage on, see the Family Data section of this report. For more information on the FamPat family, see the Questel Patent Family Collection section of this report.

Legal Status Information

A range of legal status and litigation data is available on, including:

  • Patent legal status data under the "Legal Status" tab (and through the Timeline tab for FamPat records) in the full record view.
  • US patent litigation data under the IP Litigation module.
  • Links to to the national registers of some patent authorities are provided under both the Legal Status tab and the "Published As" section of the Biblio tab in the full record view.
  • Additional legal services are available on the platform, such as European patent validation, legal status alerts, and patent file history orders.
  • Questel has also partnered with global IP case law database DARTS-IP, and Questel is planning to eventually release patent litigation/opposition tags that cover Asia, Europe, and the US, based on the data provided by DARTS-IP.[7][8]

For more information on legal data coverage on, see the Legal Status Information section of the report.

Citation Coverage

FamPat and PlusPat records include backwards patent citations (cited patents), forward patent citations (citing patents), and non-patent literature citations. Cited and citing patents are displayed under the Citations tab for FamPat and PlusPat records in the full record view, and all available patent and non-patent literature citations are also displayed under the Citations and CT ref. sections of the Biblio tab. According to the Questel help file, citations are available for FamPat and PlusPat from the following authorities (with years in parentheses indicating the start year of coverage for each authority):[1][3]

  • EP (1978)
  • WO (1978)
  • U.S. (1971)
  • AP (1984)
  • AU (1974)
  • BE (1988)
  • BG (1999)
  • CH (1963)
  • CZ (1997)
  • DE (1943)
  • DK (1956)
  • EA (1996)
  • ES (1993)
  • FR (1969)
  • GB (1983)
  • GR (1988)
  • JP (1972)
  • LU (1999)
  • NL (1947)
  • SG (2001)
  • TR (1987)

For more information on citation coverage for the platform, see the Citation Coverage section of this report.


Both PlusPat and FamPat update on a weekly basis. PlusPat is updated every Friday, and FamPat is updated every Monday.[1][9]

See the coverage chart under the Full Text section of this report for a summary of the update schedules and delay periods for all full text authorities (available in both FamPat and the Full Text collection). 17 of the 21 full-text authorities update on a weekly basis: BR, CA, CN, DE, EP, FI, FR, DE, IN, JP, KR, WO, RU, ES, SE, TW, and GB.[4] AU and BE update on a monthly basis, and CH updates on a bi-monthly basis. US applications (Ax) and granted patents (Bx/P/Cx/S/E) update every Tuesday and Thursday, and the US granted collection with A/B/P kind codes is closed.

For more information about updates for both patent and non-patent literature on, see the Updates section of the report.

Non-Patent Literature Coverage

Although mainly focuses on bibliographic and full text patent coverage, the system does provide access to some non-patent data, including:

No non-patent literature (NPL) scientific publications are currently on the platform, although Questel does offer access to NPL databases through its QWEB platform. See the the Non Patent Coverage section of this report for more information about NPL coverage on


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "General Search - Databases to search." Questel website, Accessed October 1, 2012.
  2. Email correspondence with Questel representative. Received October 2, 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Questel. "User Guide: Orbit, the Questel IP Portal." October 2011. Questel website, Accessed October 5, 2012.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Full-Text Databases Coverage and Update." Questel website, Accessed September 27, 2012.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Add to my patents copies." Questel website, Accessed October 12, 2012.
  6. WIPO. "Handbook on Industrial Property Information and Documentation." en / 08-01-01. Published August 2012. WIPO website, Accessed October 2, 2012.
  7. Garat, Renaud. "Questel's Latest Developments." Presentation for IPI CONFEX 2012 on Questel website, Accessed October 5, 2012.
  8. Iglesias, Miguel and Joe Terlizzi. "Questel Workshop: PIUG Conference - April 29th, 2012." PowerPoint presentation at PIUG Conference in Denver, Colorado on April 29th, 2012. Accessed May 30, 2012.
  9. "FamPat Database Coverage and Update." Questel website, Accessed September 27, 2012
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