INPADOC extended patent family

An extended patent family is a collection of patent documents covering a technology. The technical content covered by the applications is similar, but not necessarily the same. Members of an extended patent family will have at least one priority in common with at least one other member - either directly or indirectly.

When building extended patent families, the EPO's automated process takes into account all the priorities listed in the bibliographic data on Espacenet.

Therefore, the priorities taken into account are:

  • First filings, provisional first filings and equivalents to first filings (for definitions of these terms, see above)
  • Priorities that refer to an earlier, related application, whether a domestic or a PCT filing

EPO products and services that show extended patent families:

  • In Espacenet the INPADOC extended patent family is shown under "INPADOC patent family"
  • The Open Patent Services (OPS) web service has a dedicated service, the OPS family service
  • In the European Patent Register fellow extended patent family members are marked as "Patent family member" in the "Patent family" section
  • The Global Patent Index (GPI) has a heading "INPADOC family", in "Biblio"
  • PATSTAT indicates the extended patent family
  • There is no bulk data set that indicates extended patent families

This information is updated weekly (over the weekend).

See further details of patent family types at the EPO (PDF, 5.4 MB)