Below is a list of
answers to commonly asked questions. This should be the first place you
look for answers to your questions.
How do I download patent documents after I finish my search?
||After you have completed your
search, highlight the patent you would like to download. After you
have done this, right click the selection to download the patent.
||How do I download U.S.
|| To download a U.S. patent application, simply
enter the application's Publication Number into the PatentHunter input
box (e.g. 20010000044). Make sure to include the
entire Publication Number within the input box. It should be noted that
only applications published after March 15, 2001 are available and that
not all patent applications are published.
I get a Microsoft Visual C ++ Runtime Library -
||The most common cause for this error is related
to an earlier version of PatentHunter – Version
3.5.02. Go to the download
page to download and install the latest version. After the installation
program uninstalls and reinstalls PatentHunter, the program should be
running again as normal.
I get the error: "There is no application
associated with the given file name extension" when opening the PDF
version of my downloaded patent.
The most common cause for this error is related to
a problem with the computers file association. Re-associating the PDF
file to the proper application (we suggest Adobe Reader) should correct
this issue. To do this complete the following steps:
- Open your My Computer.
- Select Tools and Folder Options.
- Under the File Types tab, find the file
extension .pdf in the window.
- If the Opens with section at the bottom does
not say Adobe Reader, press the Change button.
- Select Adobe Reader from the list of Programs
or browse to your Program Files folder to find the Adobe Reader program
and select it.
||I have installed
PatentHunter, but I cannot download or search patents?
|| There are six potential answers to this
question. PatentHunter requires access to the Internet and to the
USPTO web site to perform searches and downloads. If PatentHunter
has worked previously upon your computer, the problem is probably one
of the four below and not the software. Below are the possible answers
and the required solution:
- You have incorrectly entered a patent
number that does not exist.
SOLUTION: Re-enter the patent number correctly.
- The patent database section of the
USPTO web site is having problems.
SOLUTION: Attempt to download the patent again or wait a couple of
hours for the USPTO to fix the problem. If you are still having
problems, you can then attempt to download the patent image during a
"non-peak" usage time such as late evening or early morning.
QUICK TEST: To see if the USPTO web
site is having problems, simply go to http://www.uspto.gov/patft/index.html
and perform a search for your patent number on the "Patent Number
Search" page -- if you get an error message, the USPTO web site is
- Your Internet service is not working.
SOLUTION: Call your Internet Service Provider or Network Administrator.
- You have firewall that is "blocking"
PatentHunter from accessing the Internet.
SOLUTION: Adjust the settings of the firewall software to allow
PatentHunter to access the Internet. (PatentHunter uses the HTTP
protocol on port 80.) If you have a software firewall on your computer
(e.g. ZONEALARM, NORTON), you may need to “allow”
PatentHunter to access the Internet by adjusting your settings. Contact
your software vendor for more information on how to adjust these
- Make sure that the Patent Downloads
folder has been created on your C: drive
SOLUTION: Follow the steps below.
- Open the MY COMPUTER window (the MY
COMPUTER icon is located on desktop and under the Start Menu).
- Double click the C: drive on your computer.
Look for a folder titled "Patent Downloads". If this folder exists,
skip to Section D below. If this folder does not exist, proceed to Step
- Right-click on the C: drive and create a
new folder on the c: drive (select NEW then FOLDER). Name the folder: Patent
- Now open PatentHunter, select the EDIT menu
and then PREFERENCES. In the Preferences window there is a place where
you can choose the SAVE LOCATION.
- Click the FIND button and select the Patent
Downloads folder you just created on your c: drive. Click OK on the
||I can't open/view the
downloaded patent images?
|| 1ST STEP: Make sure you have a
graphical viewer program that is able to view .PDF files.
A PDF file viewer is required to view patents downloaded with
PatentHunter (e.g. Adobe Acrobat Reader®).
To check if you have Adobe Acrobat Reader, simply go to START-PROGRAMS
to see if a folder titled “Adobe” is listed. If so,
then make sure that Adobe Acrobat Reader is operating correctly by
opening the software directly. If you do not have a PDF viewer
installed, please download/install Adobe Reader.
2ND STEP: Make sure you have the PDF viewer
program "associated" with a .PDF file extension.
To "associate" the PDF viewer program with a .PDF file extension simply
A listing of file extensions and the associated program will be
displayed. Locate the .PDF file extension and make sure the desired PDF
viewer is associated with the .PDF file extension. If no .PDF file
extension is listed, you will have to create a new file extension.
XP users go to
START->SETTINGS->CONTROL PANEL->APPEARANCE AND
THEMES->FOLDER OPTIONS->FILE TYPES
download the "text" of a patent?
|| Yes. PatentHunter downloads both the PDF image
and the text of a patent (not for all patents). You can open the text
file using any HTML viewer such as Internet Explorer by simply
double-clicking upon the “HTM” blue icon next to
the patent document. You can also right-click upon the patent document
and then select OPEN HTML. The text can then be copied/pasted into
||How do I open a patent
|| You can simply double-click the patent document
(or the PDF icon) and the PDF image should load within your PDF viewer
separate of PatentHunter. You can also simply RIGHT-CLICK the patent
then select OPEN PDF.
||How do I delete patents
|| You can either RIGHT-CLICK upon the patent then
select DELETE PATENT(S). If you want to delete all of the patents in a
folder of PatentHunter, you can press CONTROL-A when in the directory,
then depress the delete button on your keyboard (or right-click and
select Delete Patents).
NOTE: By deleting the patents listed on PatentHunter, the associated
.PDF (graphic file) and HTML files will also be deleted from your hard
||When I perform a patent
search with PatentHunter, no patents are found. What am I doing wrong?
|| If you are having a difficult time searching for
patents using PatentHunter, the USPTO web site could be having problems
(see top of this page for considerations) or the search query you are
entering may not be proper. Below are some suggestions on how to enter
search queries into PatentHunter.
Use Various Terms. It is important to
not limit your search to only a few search terms. You should attempt to
search for any possible variation of a specific term. For example, if
your search query includes the term pipe, you will
want to also search for synonyms of the word pipe
such as but not limited to tubular structure, or tube,
or conduit. We recommend using Thesaurus.com
when searching for different words. Remember, a patent will not be
located by your search if your search query utilizes word(s) that are
different from the patent.
Use Words Similar to Those Found in Patents.
After you locate a few patents that relate to your invention, attempt
to utilize words in your search query that reflect the terminology
utilized within these patents. Often times a particular prior art (or
patent attorneys) will utilize a common terminology that you may not be
familiar with. Remember, a patent will not be located by your search if
your search query utilizes word(s) that are different from the patent.
Phrase Searching. Phrase searching can
also help locate specific patents. PatentHunter automatically searches
for phrases when more than one word is entered without a connector.
This allows you to search for a multi-word phrase rather than
specifying each word as a separate term. Utilizing the search query ergonomic
computer mouse obviously will receive a narrower search
result than simply computer and mouse.
Using Boolean Expressions (Simple &
Advanced). You can use Boolean operators (or, and,
andnot) within your searches. Some of the below examples are
taken from the USPTO web site.
Example #1: printer and
Entering this query will retrieve a list of all patents that contain
both the terms printer and laser anywhere in the document.
Example #2: printer or
Entering this query will retrieve a list of all patents that contain
either the term printer or laser anywhere in the document.
||How do I know if a patent
has expired because the owner never paid the maintenance fee?
|| To verify the status of a patent with regard to
the payment of patent maintenance fees, please call one of the
following telephone numbers:
Maintenance Fee Customer Service at
Voice Response System at (571) 272-6500;
send e-mail to MaintenanceFeesInquiries@uspto.gov.
||What are the different United States patent documents I can download?
The following different series of U.S. patents are being or in the past have been issued. See USPTO Website for more information.
X-Series. These are the approximately 10,000 patents issued between 1790 and July 4, 1836. They were not originally numbered, but have since been assigned numbers in the sequence in which they were issued. The number should not be cited. When copies are ordered, the patentee's name and date of issue suffice for identification.
1836 Series. The mechanical, electrical, and chemical patents issued since 1836 and frequently designated as "utility" patents are included in this series. A citation by number only is understood to refer to this series. This series comprises the bulk of all U.S. patents issued. Some U.S. patents issued in 1861 bear two numbers but only the larger number should be cited.
Reissue Series. Reissue patents (MPEP § 1401) have been given a separate series of numbers preceded by "Re." In citing, the letters and the number must be given, e.g., Re. 1776. The date that it is effective as a reference is the effective date of the original patent application, not the filing date of the reissue application.Design reissue patents are numbered with the same number series as "utility" reissue patents. The letter prefix does, however, indicate them to be design reissues.
A.I. Series. From 1838 to 1861, patents covering an inventor's improvement on his or her own patented device were given a separate series of numbers preceded by "A.I." to indicate Additional Improvement. In citing, the letters and the number must be given, e.g., A.I. 113. About 300 such patents were issued.
Plant Patent Series. When the statutes were amended to provide for patenting certain types of plants (see MPEP Chapter 1600) these patents were given a separate series of numbers. In citing, the letters "P.P." and the number must be given, e.g., P.P. 13.
Design Patents. Patents for designs (see MPEP Chapter 1500) are issued under a separate series of numbers preceded by "D." In citing, the letter "D" and the number must be given, e.g., D. 140,000.
||What are the different foreign patent documents I can download?
PatentHunter International 4.0 provides you with the ability to download PCT applications as well as foreign patent documents (e.g. PCT, EP, GB, JP, AU , CA, CN – see EPO Country List for complete listing)
What is a U.S.
U.S. patent search is a
patent search by a
patent searcher for granted United States patents and published United