IFI Patent Status
The patent status stored in the
ifi-integrated-content container is created and maintained to display the latest recorded status, which affects whether the patent is still in force or, in the case of applications, whether the application is pending, granted, or inactive. In creating this status indicator, we track the sequence of legal status events reported to the EPO from the national offices and delivered in the Inpadoc file and map them to a distinct set of values. For China, we also receive legal status information from our Chinese data source. IFI's patent status indicator is a useful estimate but should not be considered authoritative. An attorney or the relevant patent office should be consulted for an authoritative expiration and status determination.
Possible Values for Published Applications (ifi_publication_type A)
|Granted||Triggered by a granting legal event or delivery of publication of a Grant/Issue/Registration in a Gazette or PTO Journal as well as the availability of the respective granted document in CLAIMS Direct.|
Applied upon publication of a filed application.
Note: An application can remain pending past its viable lifetime if no subsequent legal event code is delivered that would grant or terminate the application. We err on the side of caution and do not set a pending document to another status unless a legal event code is delivered. Therefore, in records with a filing date over 20 years old, the "Pending" status may simply indicate that we have not received any information from the patent authorities which allows us to infer the status of the record.
|Withdrawn||Applied when an applicant chooses to discontinue prosecuting an application and the PTO delivers a legal event code stating the application is withdrawn.|
|Abandoned||Applied when the PTO delivers a legal event code stating the application has been abandoned.|
Used for applications that are “Refused” (e.g., DE), "Terminated Before Grant" (e.g., GB), or "Rejected" (e.g., DE).
|Expired - Lifetime||Generally reserved for Granted/Issued/Registered records in CLAIMS Direct, this status is sometimes used for applications that have passed their full patent term.|
|Revoked||Generally reserved for Granted/Issued/Registered records in CLAIMS Direct, this status is sometimes used for records that were granted and then terminated (e.g., after invalidation or appeal proceedings).|
Withdrawn - After Issue
|Generally reserved for Granted/Issued/Registered records, this status is triggered when a legal event code is received from the PTO indicating an applicant has chosen to terminate/withdraw the granted record. This usually occurs to avoid double patenting.|
Possible Values for Granted Patents and Utility Models (ifi_publication_type B)
Triggered by publication of the Granted/Issued/Registered record. This status is maintained until there is a subsequent legal event code that changes it to inactive/expired.
|Active - Reinstated|
Applied when an office delivers a legal event code indicating that the IP right has been reinstated.
Note: Legal event codes for both non-payment and reinstatement are often quickly delivered electronically.
|Expired - Fee Related|
Applied when an annuity or maintenance fee payment is missed.
Note: There are cases where the grant can be revived and may continue to be in-force (see Active-Reinstated).
Used for events similar to those with a status of “Ceased”, including non-payment of annuities, but occurs more frequently in CLAIMS Direct. The generic "Expired" indicator is used for all patents published before 1990, regardless of whether an expiration date has been calculated for them and regardless of prior legal status events such as fee-related expirations, withdrawals, revocations, etc.
|Expired - Lifetime||Applied when all fees have been paid, the grant was in-force for the entire patent or utility model term, and the grant has exceeded its term limit.|
|Ceased||Applied when an office delivers a legal event code that terminates an IP right before the patent term ends, e.g., in AU termination according to Section 143(A) where applicant does not pay the required fee or fails to submit the required documents. In CN, “Ceased” is most often used for termination due to Invalidation. Refusals, Rejections, and Nullifications can also trigger a status of “Ceased”.|
|Withdrawn - After Issue||Applied when the PTO delivers a legal event code indicating that the applicant has withdrawn the granted patent. This usually occurs to avoid double patenting.|
|In-force (Designated States only)|
Used for EP records when an EP designated country remains In-Force. Used only for EP designated countries within an EP record. See New IFI Patent Status for EP for examples.
Note: When at least one EP designated country within an EP record is In-Force, the EP record remains “Active”.
|Not-in-force (Designated States only)|
Used for EP records when no EP designated country remains In-Force. Used only for EP designated countries within an EP record. See New IFI Patent Status for EP for examples.
|Revoked||Applied when an office terminates a patent, often after invalidation or appeal proceedings and the delivery of a legal status event informing of the revocation. Annulments or Renunciations can also trigger a status change to “Revoked”.|
Impact of Supplementary Protection Certificates and Their Term Extensions
For some US and for all other authorities, the existence of a term extension or Supplementary Protection Certificate is indicated by a
regulatory-extension flag in the
ifi-patent-status container, but the
anticipated-expiration date does not reflect the term extension.
Impact of US Reissues
When a US reissue document (kind code E*) is published, the original granted publication that was the basis for the reissue is surrendered and the IFI Status is set to “Ceased” in the Snapshot.
When a reissue application is filed, it goes through the normal prosecution process while the original patent that is the basis for the reissue also continues. Annuity fees must be maintained until the reissue is granted, at which time the original basis patent is surrendered and the IFI legal status is set to “Ceased”. Unlike a regular utility patent application, the reissue application is NOT published prior to grant. Furthermore, the reissue patent term is only for the remainder of the original patent term which includes any extensions and adjustments at the time of issuance.
The reissue information in the original basis patent is found in the
office-specific-data container. The reissue application information shows the new reissue application number and once the reissue grants, the reissue grant publication number is also available.
Example: ucid US-10400688-B2
Only the reissue application filing information is available in the
legal-status container in the XML of the original basis granted patent record.
If a reissue application is filed but not granted, the original basis patent will continue to be Active provided all the maintenance fees are maintained.
In addition, the expiry date for the reissue is calculated based on the filing date of the original application. Using the example above, US-10400688-B2 was filed on 20171220. Its reissue application was filed on 20191202 and granted on 20210713, but its expiry date is 20 years from the original filing, so it will expire on 20371220 provided all fee payments are maintained.
Further information on US reissues can be found in the USPTO’s MPEP 1401 Reissue: https://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/s1401.html.
European patents are a special case since the status of the patent after grant is controlled at the national patent office level. For more information about the IFI Patent Status of EP records, consult New IFI Patent Status for EP.
Note: Detailed information about Inpadoc legal status data and coverage can be found at https://www.epo.org/searching-for-patents/helpful-resources/data/tables/weekly.html.