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Legal status and events explained
Legal status and events explained

Active, inactive and unknown status of single documents and whole patent families

Sakari Arvela avatar
Written by Sakari Arvela
Updated over a week ago

The legal status information we show in IPRally reflects the current status of a patent document. It focuses on if it is enforceable and alive or not.

Note: We rely on legal status data that we obtain from our data provider (IFI Claims). IPRally takes no responsibility on the accuracy of the data. Please refer to official sources in cases of legal importance.

A "traffic light"-system symbolises the simplified status:

  • Active status is shown in green (Documents with active, granted, pending status, active - reinstated, or in force status)

  • Unknown status - in orange (documents for which the data is missing in our database - Note: expansion of data is work in progress!)

  • Inactive status - in grey (withdrawn, withdrawn after issue, abandoned, ceased, expired, expired - lifetime, expired - fee-related, revoked, or not in force)

The square in front of the publication number stands for the legal status of the whole patent family while the circle after it stands for the status of the individual document. If the family consists only of one document, you see only a circle.

Hovering or pressing the circle or square will show you additional information about its status. Also, if you expand the result or open the Document view, you will see the detailed status of the document:

You can expand the list of family members through clicking on the blue arrow next to the publication number in the result list:

The rule of thumb for the Family status is derived from the family members:

  • ACTIVE, if at least one family member is ACTIVE

  • UNKNOWN, if not ACTIVE and at least one family member UNKNOWN

  • INACTIVE, if all family members are INACTIVE.

You can filter the search results via the legal status filter:

Like the rest of the filters, the Legal status filter applies to each individual document separately. Therefore, in combination with the Data sources filter and Claims only filter ("Search in"), it is possible to carry out efficient Freedom-to-operate searches for a particular geographic region (see a separate FTO article for details).

By default, documents of all legal status types are shown. If you are interested only in "active" ones, un-select "unknown" and "inactive" and press "Search patents" again.

For the current data coverage, check out this article.

Legal events

See the Legal event history of a document by clicking on the legal status label or Show legal events in the Actions section of the Bibliographic data.

Note that you can get the legal events conveniently for any family member by clicking the status label on legal status symbols in front of any publication number:

And this is how we show it:


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