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FAQs: Viewing and Ordering Patents
Updated: Apr 8, 2011


  1. What is the difference between the red PDF icon and the yellow one with the check mark?

  2. How do I add patents and applications to my Shopping Cart?

  3. How do I get copies of patents?

  4. I can't save my PDF download. Why not?

  5. If I am unable to receive the download, or am having problems with an order, can I receive a credit?

  6. What software do I need to view the documents that I download?

  7. I am a patent owner. Can you tell me who looks at my patent?

  8. What is the difference between a low-resolution image, a high-resolution image, and the original patent?

  9. I'd like information on licensing a patent. Can you help?

  10. How many patents can I get at one time?

  11. I have a list of patents that I want, what is the quickest way to get them all downloaded?

  12. How do I order patents using PDF Express?

  13. I want to download the whole PDF at once, not view the first page as the rest downloads. How can I do that?


  1. What is the difference between the red PDF icon and the yellow one with the check mark?
    The red PDF icon is shown when a patent image is from one of the major collections and is always available for download from the Delphion site.

    The yellow PDF icon with the checkmark indicates that the patent is from one of the national collections and might possibly not be available for download. When you click this icon, we will "check" on the PDF for you. If the PDF is not available, we will present you with the option of placing a special order to have the PDF located and emailed to you.

    US, EP, and WO PDFs are free for Unlimited users and $3.00 for Premier and Basic users.

    National collection PDFs are $3.00 for all users.

    Special order PDFs are $9.00 for all users.

    For more information, see Availability of Patent Images.


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  3. How do I add patents and applications to my Shopping Cart?
    There are two ways to add items to your shopping cart. Both methods allow you to select the document format — including PDF, TIFF, Fax, and others.

    1. Click the More Choices... link at the top of the Delphion Integrated View to display an Order Form with your chosen patent number automatically indicated. Click Add to Shopping Cart to display your Shopping Cart.
    2. To add several documents to your Shopping Cart at once, from the Result Set, click on the check boxes next to the patents you wish to order, choose the format you prefer from the pull-down menu above the Result Set, and then click Go.


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  4. How do I get copies of patents?
    There are several ways:

    1. From the Integrated View for a patent, click the PDF icon or link to download the patent immediately. If the patent is from a national collection and not readily available for download, you will be presented with the opportunity to place a special order to have the PDF located and emailed to you.
    2. From the Integrated View for a patent, click More Choices... to go to the Order Form and enter additional patent numbers and choose desired format.
    3. From a Work File or search Result Set, check the boxes for the patents you want to order, choose the format you want from the drop-down box, then click Go. Your Shopping Cart will display showing those patents ready for checkout.
    4. From a Work File or search Result Set, click the PDF icon next to the patent you want and the PDF will display immediately. If the patent is from a national collection and not readily available for download, you will be presented with the opportunity to place a special order to have the PDF located and emailed to you.
    5. From a Work File or Result Set, click the PDF Express tab to download up to 500 patents through PDF Express. (More about PDF Express.)

    For more information, see Availability of Patent Images.


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  5. I can't save my PDF download. Why not?
    Customers using Internet Explorer (directly or through AOL) may experience this problem. Explorer can occasionally disable the Save function on the document you are viewing. If this occurs, go back to the Order Accepted page and instead of left-clicking the icon to view a patent, right-click and select Save Target As, to save the download directly to your computer.

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  6. If I am unable to receive the download, or am having problems with an order, can I receive a credit?
    If you encounter a problem receiving a download, or if the file appears to be corrupted or does not display, first attempt to re-download from your existing order. The problem may have occurred during the transmission over the internet. If the problem persists, please e-mail our helpdesk at ts.custserv@thomson.com. Include the relevant order number(s), and a brief explanation of the problem. If our attempts to correct the problem are unsuccessful, your account will be credited.

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  7. What software do I need to view the documents that I download?
    Adobe Acrobat Reader software is necessary for PDF documents, and is freely available from the Adobe website.

    The TIFF documents require Imaging (for Windows). A free version is available from the Microsoft website.


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  8. I am a patent owner. Can you tell me who looks at my patent?
    For security purposes, we do not keep track of the research done at our site. We can, however, provide information concerning other issued patents that directly make reference to your patent. If this information would interest you, try a Boolean Text search. In the first search box, type your name (all lower case, last name first, no comma); leave "All Fields" selected in the pull-down menu. In the next search box, type your name again (same way), and select "[IN] Inventor" instead of "All Fields" in the pull-down menu. Click on "and not" between the search boxes. This will search for all patents that mention your name but were not invented by you.

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  9. What is the difference between a low-resolution image, a high-resolution image, and the original patent?
    The images on our site have been scanned from the original patents and should therefore be precise replicas. An occasional distortion or error may result if an image page scans poorly or is missed. Aside from this rare occurrence, our patents are comparable to the originals.

    The Integrated View for a patent offers links to both high- and low-resolution images of the patent. Low-resolution images are great for a fast overview of a patent document because they display quickly. They are not necessarily, however, 100% legible and so are not usually appropriate for detailed review of patent contents. High-resolution images may take longer to display than the low-resolution images because of the increase in details provided in the documents. High-resolution images, however, are fully legible. Both high- and low-resolution images can be printed a page at a time from the website (as part of both the Premium and Unlimited subscription packages).

    If you are an Unlimited or Premier subscriber and you have selected to view the Thumbnail on the Result Set, clicking the Thumbnail image displays a high-resolution image of the patent. Basic users need to become Unlimited or Premier subscribers to view images on their Result Sets.

    Patents viewed directly from the website can only be printed a page at a time. In order to print an entire patent at once, you must download that patent from our website to your local machine and open it there with your local copy of Adobe Acrobat (assuming that your subscription level allows you to download a patent).


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  10. How many patents can I get at one time?
    With PDF Express, you can download up to 500 patents all at once in one zip file.

    Using the Order Form, you can enter up to 20 individual patent numbers at a time to add to your shopping cart. You can repeat this procedure multiple times.


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  11. I have a list of patents that I want, what is the quickest way to get them all downloaded?
    Create a new Work File by importing your list of patent numbers into the Work File tool. Then view the Work File and, from the Work File Result Set view, choose the PDF Express tab to download the patents all at once (up to 500 patents). (More about Work Files and PDF Express.)

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  12. I want to download the whole PDF at once, not view the first page as the rest downloads. How can I do that?
    PDF images on Delphion download in a "linearized" manner which means that the first page downloads first, and you can begin reviewing it while the rest of the PDF is still downloading. This is really the fastest way to see your PDF images.

    If, for some reason, you prefer to have the whole PDF download at once (which means you have to wait for the last page to download before viewing the first), then you can turn off the linearized PDF feature in your Adobe Acrobat Reader®. Changing this setting will force a download of the entire PDF before you are able to view the first page.

    The process differs slightly depending on whether you have just Acrobat Reader vs. the full version of Adobe:

    Adobe Acrobat Reader:
    • Open Adobe Acrobat Reader
    • Select Edit, Preferences, then Options
    • Uncheck Allow Fast Web View

    Adobe (Full Version):
    • Open Adobe
    • Select Edit, Preferences, then Internet
    • Uncheck Allow Fast Web View


    If you need any assistance with this, please contact our Customer Support team at ts.custserv@thomson.com.


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