Dr. Richard G. Cooper


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Providing Expert Witness Services in

Software, Internet and  Electronics Technologies


Downloading Patents

The Download Patents process runs in the background as you use Elk  to review patents.  The Download Patents process can be initiated directly from the Start|All Programs|Elk for Patents|Download Patents sequence of program selections.  It can also be started by right-clicking the Search results grid in Elk, and choosing Download Search List from the popup menu. 

The Download Patents process loads the presently selected list and appears as shown in the figure below:

The list box on the left identifies the patents to be downloaded in the background as you work:

When the program starts, the list box is loaded automatically from a file which Elk™ creates when you tell it to start the Download Patents process.  You can also specify a file name to save the list for future reuse or analysis.  Elk™ makes two copies of the list – one file which you have named, and a message box file which is always stored in the Elk™ start directory in a file named download list.txt when Elk™ starts Download Patents.  You don’t have to be concerned with this file unless you are using a different program (such as notepad) to generate the download list.txt file. 

The directory box on the right indicates the directory into which all patents in the list box will be stored on your hard drive:

You can left click on the various folders to open or close them, and select folders from their directory of folders, until you have specified a directory for all the patents to be stored in. 

The USPTO places a restriction on the number of web accesses you can perform each day from a single internet protocol (IP) address.  The web site specifies a maximum of 1,000 accesses per IP address (or group of IP addresses) per day.  So Download Patents provides a way for you to control the speed at which patents are downloaded from any specific computer, i.e., from a single IP address.  The figure below describes these settings:

As each patent is downloaded, the program checks your directory to see if that patent has already been downloaded.  So you need not worry about getting duplicates of patents into the directory you have specified.  Only one copy of each patent will be downloaded and stored there. 

The default limit of 1000 for the Max Patents per Session to Download applies only to patents from the list box that must actually be downloaded to fill the directory. 

In addition, the USPTO monitors heavy download activity so that no one accessing program can use an exorbitant amount of bandwidth per unit time.  To avoid having the USPTO turn off your computer’s access to the site, Download Patents provides a sleep time in between patent downloads to ensure that your computer doesn’t violate the USPTO restrictions on excessive bandwidth consumption.  The default value of 1000 in Sleep Milliseconds per Download can be used to ensure proper consumption. 

Either of these settings can be changed by entering the new value and pressing the Change button next to either (or both) fields. 

As each patent is downloaded, Download Patents removes that patent identifier from the list box, and saves the changes in the download list.txt file.  In this way, you can restart Download Patents in the future and continue from the last unloaded patent identifier.  This approach helps you minimize the real time delay of downloading a large number of patents and sharing the patents among your team members. 

When all settings are satisfactory, simply press the Get Patents button to start downloading.  The button to press is shown in a red ellipse in the figure below:

As it runs, Download Patents can be minimized to your task bar by clicking the minimize button shown in blue in the figure.  At any time, you can stop the process in between patents by bringing the Download Patents process back up on the screen and pressing Exit.  The program can be restarted at your convenience by pressing the Start|All Programs|Elk for Patents|Download Patents sequence of program selections to continue downloading from the next patent identifier.

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