Definitions Edit

A patent family is

all the patent documents filed in different countries that are associated with a single invention. The size of the family refers to the number of distinct patents held. Comparisons of patent families avoid multiple counting of a single invention that is patented in several countries.[1]
the same invention disclosed by a common inventor(s) and patented in more than one country.[2]
a set of either patent applications or publications taken in multiple countries to protect a single invention by a common inventor(s) and then patented in more than one country. A first application is made in one country — the priority — and is then extended to other offices.[3]

References Edit

  1. Innovation and Commercialization of Emerging Technologies, at 8 n.8.
  2. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Glossary (full-text).
  3. European Patent Office, Glossary (full-text).

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