STN International - The Scientific and Technical Information Network
Search Example: Patents - Legal Status Search
Question: Is the patent DE 42 08 777 still in force or has it expired?
Strategy: Since the search is related to a german patent (Code: DE), locate the patent information in the "Patents, national" category in the PATDPA file, the German patent database.
Search Strategy
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Log on to STN Easy at STN Easy Home Page
If you do not have an existing STN account:
To open a new STN Easy account, click the blue "Open New Account" button on the STN Easy Home Page and complete and submit the online forms. Within 30 minutes, your STN login ID and password will be sent to the e-mail address you specify.
If you have an existing STN account:
To log on to STN Easy, simply enter your login ID and password.
Then click "Start Your Session."
More info about STN Easy Home Page
   Select Search Mode:
STN Easy Search Page
The Search Page is displayed. It offers three different search options: "Easy", "Advanced" and "CAS Number" Search.
To locate patent information, select the "Advanced Search" tab.
The Advanced Search option prompts you to choose the category of databases you wish to search. Click the "Select Your Category" button for the list of categories.
More info about STN Easy Search Page
   Select Databases:
Select database category
An additional browser window is opened. It displays the list of STN Easy database categories.
Select the "Patents, National" category and click the Database Folder icon to see the list of databases included in this category.
De-select all but the PATDPA file. Then click "OK".
The window closes and the name of the category is displayed next to the
"Select Your Category" button. - You are ready to enter the search terms.
More info about databases
How to choose the appropriate Patent Database Category
   Enter Search Terms:
Enter search terms
Depending on the selected patent database, the Search Page features up to 16 different search-fields (e.g. inventor, patent assignee, patent number, patent classes, publication year, and more) which can be used singly or in combination.
Pick the search-field "Patent Number" from the first drop-down box.
Type the patent number in the associated entry box, avoiding any letter-spaces.
More info about Search Guidelines
   Browse Index:
Browse Index
You may click the grey "Browse Index" button on the right to verify the patent number e.g. if the number you entered is both spelled correctly and included in the database you have chosen. Browse Index is free and an excellent way to preview your search before you actually pay for it !
Select the patent number you wish to search from the "Browse Index" list.
Click the green "Search" button. - Please note: The price for the search fee is displayed below the Search button.
Helpful HINT: In order to select discontinuous items from the list hold down the Control key (Command key on Macintosh).
More info about Browse Index
   Answer Page:
Review titles at Answer Page
The answer is displayed as a table on the Answer Page. Your search question and total number of answers are shown at the top of the Answer Page as well.
STN Easy retrieves the patent in the PATDPA database. To view the detailed record, simply click on its title hyperlink. The Display Format and Display Style drop-down menus at the bottom of the table of titles will be used.
The Display Format menu allows you to choose from two display formats. In order to retrieve legal status info from PATDPA database, choose the "Standard Plus" Format which provides more comprehensive data than Standard Format (in most cases limited to bibliographic information, abstract and drawing).
The Display Style menu gives you two display style options. "STN Easy" style includes descriptive names for each field, e.g., Author, Title. "STN" style is a compact format identical to that used in STN command line displays. Fields are labeled with codes, e.g., AU, TI, rather than descriptive names. Searchers who are comfortable with traditional STN command line searching may prefer STN style. Both styles are the same price.
More info about STN Easy Answer Page
   Display Page:
See detailed record at Display Page
The detailed record of the desired patent is displayed in the selected format and style - right at your desktop.
In PATDPA database, legal status information is given in the NOTES field. Because the list is ordered chronologically, you can easily check the actual legal status in the last row.
Furthermore, you are free to choose between various options available at Display Page, such as full-text order, citation-searching, searching the web, etc.
More info about STN Easy Display Page
In order to start a new search, simply click the appropriate search option below the STN Easy Logo on the blue Navigation Frame and a new Search Page is displayed.
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