Orbit Intelligence uses what we call a 'strict enriched family' (FAMPAT database).

Strict = All members must share the same priority numbers.
Enriched = We add some flexibility, so as to adapt to the different (inter)national offices procedures.

The goal of this family construction is to have each "family = an invention", and thus avoid noise in the results. Precision : here the term "invention" is understood in the sense of a patent invention (unicity, novelty) in use by the EPO.

You will find below the construction rules, along with examples of families in the 2 databases FAMPAT (grouping by family) and FULLPAT (grouping by procedure).

In brief:

A Fampat family groups together all publications for patents of a single invention. 

Fampat families are dynamic: their composition changes as new information is received. 

Each patent is unique in the FAMPAT database: no single patent number may appear in two distinct families. 

Construction rules:

- Patents sharing the exact same priority number are grouped in the same FAMPAT family 

- Any national phase of a PCT application (WO) is included in the family of its PCT parent 

- Any national phase of an European patent (EP) is included in the family of its EP parent 

- Japanese applications that, when combined together, are equivalent to a European or North American application, are grouped in the same family 

- Non-US applications claiming priority to a US provisional application are grouped with the respective US application(s) . Without a US publication, this US provisional is ignored.

- Any EP divisional application will be grouped with its parent EP

What are the benefits of the FAMPAT family? 

Because families are grouped by single inventions, searching will generate both more precise and comprehensive results; Duplicate-free invention based family records are undeniably quicker to scan and understand.


As living assets and rights, patents constantly evolve and change. 

Fampat families follow this principle and are fully dynamic, making sure that additional family members are added to the correct family  

The structure of the Fampat family allows users to see the impact of patent law in some countries that would not be visible in a “strict” family.  

Fampat families can be grouped by extended families (> See article on 'User settings presentation')

Such extended families are split by single inventions (FAMPAT records), highlighting significant technical nuances. 


NB: The FAMPAT database aggregates patent records from many patent Offices across the world. Patents containing bad priority or application numbers supplied by such patent Offices can lead to bad family grouping. 

Thanks to customers’ feedback, the Questel editorial team is able to fix reported errors in real time, making Fampat the cleanest patent family database available. 

Reminder: open a ticket or write to help@questel.com to report any data that seems wrong to you.