"Add item by identifier" for patents

The button "add item by identifier" in zotero version 2b4 is a really nice thing to automatically capture meta data for articles... I use it often to integrate scanned documents into zotero. (thanks for this feature).

It would be really great, if zotero could expand this feature to patents: Inserting a (worldwide unique) patent number into this "add item by identifer" field, zotero should gather (from free patent database sources, eg espacenet...) the corresponding meta data, perhaps combined with automatically pdf-download (that's for free too, for patent databases).

A good and easy patent handling would be a very, very great feature, superior to most other "literature" reference management tools, for a lot of people working in industrie. In industry you read as many patents as research papers and have to handle them.

What is your opinion on this?
  • Can you provide some example patent numbers?
  • Hi Dan,

    is there any further activity on this feature request. Is it worth for the zotero team to work on it or not?

    Can you give me a short feedback, Dan? Thanks.
  • Many patent numbers are just sequential & so there is no good way to know that a particular string is a patent number (unlike DOIs, ISBNs, etc. which have a pattern). Are the country codes ubiquitous & might they overlap with any other identifiers? I suspect that using them would be the only way to retain the "automagic" aspect of the import by id feature.
  • How about providing a drop-down menu next to the entry text-field to select the type of identifier? By default it could be set to auto-detect. Non-default options could include the main identifiers, including "PMCID" (which cannot be distinguished from PMID by format) and "patent".
  • A suggestion for implementation of this feature.

    Using espacenet as the lookup database to get the full patent metadata from a patent number or a patent application number (eg. US2006152827) you have only to split the country code (CC), which are the first two letters, from the number (NR), the rest (no letters, only numbers). Auto detection proof: If it is not an other kind of identifier and this split into CC and NR is correct.

    Then you can directly go to the dataset using http://v3.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?NR=2006152827&CC=US . With the fixed espacenet translator you are able to directly import the dataset into zotero (for the fix see: http://forums.zotero.org/discussion/4740/site-translator-for-espacenet-not-working/#Item_2)

    Now the task would be, to combine this three things by entering a complete patent number US2006152827 into the "add item by identifier" field. 1) split in CC and NR part, 2) lookup at the espacenet database 3) use the espacenet translator.

    I know, that this is a workaround and there are perhaps some special cases which do not realy work.
    But 1) espacenet as lookup database is surely one of best choices. The coverage of patent data there are one of the biggest worldwide and
    2) I think it is a simple way to start for implementing this feature (sufficient for a lot of people like me).
  • Do you have any comments on the above suggestion?
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