When viewing a patent you are able to obtain legal information regarding that patent (where it is available). This will enable you to get a strong idea of which patents have encountered litigation issues or have been part of a licensing deal.
When you first view a patent, select the "Legal" option to be able to find out more about the legal information for this particular patent.
Once you have chosen this option, the first page you will come to is "Transaction" which looks like this:
From here, you will be able to see the current legal status of the patent and its family, as well as when this status came into force, information regarding term extensions/adjustments, transaction history for the patent, the assignments that have taken place, and the INPADOC legal status. The INPADOC legal status table also has a column titled “Event Category & Description” that explains different legal events that have occurred for a patent based on the data provided by the EPO. In the case of US patents, this tab will indicate if a patent is subject to a terminal disclaimer as well.
The Transaction tab might be a little different depending on the country or authority that the patent you are viewing originates. Patents that have been filed through the EPO for example, will display the list of countries in which this patent is being enforced at the top of the transaction screen.
If you click on one of the countries, you will be able to see the transactions that are relevant to that territory.
You can find more details about this in the following article: How Can I Determine The States That An EP Patent Has Been Validated In?
We also have National Phase Entries for PCT applications which can also be found within the Transaction area.
From here, you can see the current legal status of the national phase entries for the PCT application along with the dates they entered into the respective national phases.
You can find more details about this in the following article: How Do I See A List Of National Phase Entries for A PCT Application?
The next option is "Litigation", which allows you to see information about the litigation cases that have taken place that involve this patent:
From here, you will be able to see the name of the case, its case number and the court where the trial took place. You can also see the product(s) cited in the case as well as the judge who took the case. As well as this, you can view information regarding both the plaintiff and the defendant, in terms of the law firm and specific attorney who were on each side. You can also see the patents involved in the case, related cases and the conclusion of the trial as well as being able to view fulltext documents for the case.
Re-examination & Invalidation
The next option is "Re-examination & Invalidation", which allows you to see cases where a re-examination has taken place and the results of this case:
From here, you will be able to see the name of the case, the decision number, who is doing the re-examining, when the case was filed and when it was closed. You can also see the internal number for the case, the judge for the case, the decision number, the status of the decision made, the decision date and the case type. As well as this, you can see the petitioner for the case, the owner of the patent at the time of re-examining and related cases.
The next option is "Licensing", which allows you to view details of licensing deals that have taken place regarding this patent:
From here, you will be able to the view the date the terms of the license were agreed, the licensee and the licensor for the deal as well as the industry that the licensor operates within. You can also see the type of agreement that has taken place, the exclusivity of the deal and the date that the license has come into effect. As well as this, you can see the case number for the deal, the standard industrial classification for the license, the terms of the deal, any amendments that have been made to the deal, any related parties and the territory that the license covers.
The next option is "Pledge", which allows you to view details about a patent that has been pledged:
From here, you will be able to see the date that the patent was pledged, the reel/frame numbers, the type of pledge and the pledgor and pledgee for the pledge.
The next option is "File Wrapper", which allows you to view the file wrapper for the patent where the file wrapper is a written record in a patent office of the application and negotiations for a patent preceding to that patent being issued. You can also often see a link to the official website where you can also view this information.