How Mergeflow deals with patent information

Mergeflow gets its patents from the European Patent Office (EPO). The EPO database aggregates patent documents from patent offices worldwide.

Our system collects patent updates from EPO on a weekly basis. The updates include:

  • Updates for previously seen patents. This includes new patent applications in additional jurisdictions for already-existing patent families, or English translations of patents that previously were available only in their (non-English) native language. As soon as Mergeflow receives an English translation of a patent, it replaces the native-language contents by the English contents.
  • New, previously unseen, patent publications. Typically, the priority date of these new patent publications is ca. 18 months prior to the publication date. These 18 months are usually the maximum amount of time allowed between filing date and publication date (and most patent applicants use these 18 months, rather than deciding to publish their patents immediately or after a shorter time).

Mergeflow uses priority dates as timestamp for its patents.

Furthermore, Mergeflow groups together patent applications under different jurisdictions under one patent family.

Mergeflow counts patent families, not patent publications. The number of patent publications is a lot higher than the number of patent families (because most patents are filed under more than one jurisdiction).

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