Report:PatBase/Import, Export, and Download/Export Functions
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Text and bibliographic data for patent documents in PatBase can be exported into a number of different formats. Export can take place from an active hit list, or selected records may be moved into a saved folder for later export (see the Saving Results section of this article). An export feature is also now available for the Smart Claims viewer, where users can export the breakdown of independent and dependent claims to an HTML file.
Two features of the exporting functions in PatBase are particularly advanced. First, the system allows users to create and export user comments along with the patent data. Specifically, this occurs from a saved results folder: PatBase allows the user to add a “family note” annotation to saved records, which can then be exported along with the raw data. Users can also add rankings to records within folders, and this ranking data can be included in folder exports. Second, users have the ability to export keyword highlighting into PatBase export reports; this highlighting can be system-applied, or user-defined, using the advanced highlighting features (highlighting is discussed further in the Viewing Latin Text Records section of this article).
The export process begins by prompting the user to choose a desired file format, and a pre-defined display format. Display formats are defined to encompass certain bibliographic data and document text sections; thus, choosing a display format determines what data fields appear in the export file. If the spreadsheet option is selected (CSV, XML, Excel, and HTML Table formats), the display format menu disappears, and the next screen will allow the user to manually choose desired data points. Customized user fields can now be included in both Family and Publication exports as of 2011, and in 2010, the Agents data field was added as an exportable data point in the CSV export format. In 2010, a VantagePoint export option was added to the list of export formats, which can also be configured to include the text of the patent claims and patent description sections during export. As of 2011, users also have a Patent iNSIGHT Pro™ export option (which can be configured to include claims and/or descriptions) and an INTELLIXIR export option in the list of export formats.
In contrast, if the export function is performed directly from a list of search results (before they are saved), there are a few more options available. The figure below shows the export dialog window for exporting unsaved search results. As shown in the figure, search history, keyword highlighting, and legal status data may be retained (for text, HTML, and PDF exports only). In addition, users can create their own document “header” to appear at the beginning of the file for most text exports.
If a spreadsheet export format is chosen, users are then directed to select their desired data fields for export. Because PatBase is structured to display records in patent families, records can naturally be exported as entire patent families. However, there is also an option available for users who wish to export only certain publications from within those families. These publications can be pre-selected from the folder or hit list, by ticking the empty check box next to the specific family member of interest (for more information, see the Flagging Results section of this article). If individual members have not been pre-selected, users may designate a specific country code or order of countries for the preferred publications they wish to extract out of the family records. The two figures below show the data options for a spreadsheet-style export.
If the number of records in the export data set exceeds 100 documents (or 50 documents for a .CSV format export), PatBase will create the export file “offline,” so that users may continue to perform other tasks during the data-download process. This requires the user to enter a delivery e-mail address where they will receive the export file, as opposed to downloading a zip file directly from the system interface. After a 2009 update, users may also access their offline exports under the "search" tab of the system's main menu page, where a link, "view recent offline exports," will provide a summary of usage. The system limits data exports to 5,000 documents per day under a fair use policy. The PatBase Manual also states that "Offline exports will not be accepted if the total number of documents to be exported, including the current request, exceeds 30,000/month/UserID or 10,000/day/UserID. The daily quota will be re-set the next day; the monthly quota will be re-set on the 1st of the next month." For larger bulk downloads, users may contact PatBase for alternate arrangements.
The structure of PatBase data naturally makes the export process a little more confusing than it is for competitors who only treat publications as individual documents. Now, an extra element has been introduced: users must choose whether to export family data, or individual publication data.
Despite this extra step, the export function in PatBase is fairly intelligible and user friendly. However, users must remain aware that some data for a family record is taken from the representative patent (title, abstract), and other family members may have different content.
The “offline” downloading feature has been designed for user convenience, but has also effectively limited the ability for users to process many bulk downloads per day. Naturally, PatBase does not want users to perform mass data downloads on a regular basis to create internal data files, which both overuses the system’s computer resources and violates PatBase’s fair use policy.