How to Identify Prematurely Dropped Patent Families

Last updated: June 2021

A search query based on the the filter elements  "Age" and "Legal Event: Expires soon" in combination with a past Reporting Date can yield patent families that have been prematurely dropped.

  1. Select an owner portfolio or any other patent population of interest.
  2. Add the filter element "Age" to the search filter and select a meaningful age range.

    In this example, "Age" filters for patent families that are between 2 and 10 years old (counted from the date of their first filing).

  3. Add the filter element "Legal Event" and select the item "Expires Soon".

    "Expires soon" filters for patent families of which we know that they will become inactive within the following year.

  4. Set the → Reporting Date to a past date of interest, e.g., 12/31/2010.

Reading Example:

The owner RELX owns 4 patent families that, at the Reporting Date 31/12/2010, were still active, ranged between 2 an 10 years of age, and became inactive in the following year.

Based on these filter settings we know that these 4 patent families became prematurely inactive at some point in the year 2011. They have either been dropped or withdrawn by the owner RELX (e.g., by non-payment of maintenance fees, non-entry into the national phase, application discontinuation etc.), or, they have been rejected or invalidated.

To find out the exact reason why a patent family became inactive, we recommend taking a look into "Legal events" section available in the → Result List.