Would like to get help to get a copy of GB patents with D0 kind codes.  The patent I am looking for has an application date of 2012-11-05 and publication date of 2012-12-19. Could this be due to early publication? Currently all I have is a title, assignee name and publication number for this document.

Not able to find this on UK patent office website or other database. Any suggestions?




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  1. Ashish,

    GB D0 publications aren't published published patent specifications, they're listings of applications that have been filed at the GB patent office.  The title, assignee name and application number are all that get published, and nothing else will appear until 18 months after the priority filing date. There are only a few patent offices that publish application numbers before they publish the application itself, and the numbers are accessible because they're provided to the EPO as INPADOC data input. 

    I called this kind of non-published application "phantom" family members my article on patent families (Edlyn S. Simmons.  "Black Sheep" in the Patent Family,”  World Patent Information 31(1), 11-18 (2009)). 

  2. Thanks, Edlyn.

    Simmons, E. S. (2009). “Black sheep” in the patent family. World Patent Information, 31(1), 11–18. doi:10.1016/j.wpi.2008.08.005 
  3. Hi Ashish,

    What's the title, assignee name and publication number of your document?

    Below is a 2 months old GB "phantom" patent family member:

  4. I agree with Edlyn Simmons. As per my understanding also, there is no kind code D0 available for GB (Great Britain) as such. Please find below list of kind codes of GB


    United Kingdom (GB)

































    Also, this link from EPO (http://documents.epo.org/projects/babylon/eponet.nsf/0/A26C372A1CC14B6EC12572EB004BC06C/$File/great_britain.pdf – Page 1) indicates D0 is the kind code in the EPO’s DOCDB (bibliographic) for  A0.

    A post from PIUG last year also mentions “On the other hand, the D0 kind code on GB records in INPADOC is not an application kind code, it is the published document kind code for announcements that an application has been filed.  I don't have a copy of a record, but I suspect that most of the D0 records have the application kind code A.” (http://wiki.piug.org/display/PIUG/INPADOC+kind+code+question)

    We did a quick search in espacenet for GB patents with publication date as 2012-12-19, it has retrieved 234 patents however, no prior art has application date as 2012-11-05.  

    If you can disclose the publication number, title and assignee information so that we can try and retrieve the document.

    Muthu, www.DexPatent.com 


  5. Thanks, Muthu.

    Would you be able to solve Mindy's problem (with examples) regarding patent expiration time frame: Patent Expirations - How to track for a specific time frame


    Simmons, E. S. (2009). “Black sheep” in the patent family. World Patent Information, 31(1), 11–18. doi:10.1016/j.wpi.2008.08.005

  7. Edlyn, Thanks for the explanation.

    Rex, Nice of you to also reproduce the illustration from Edlyn's article. Thanks. I just now downloaded the article.

    Muthu, In view of this, I am curious to see if you can get the document. I was looking for GB201219835D0.

    1. >I am curious to see if you can get the document. I was looking for GB201219835D0.

      1. Am unable to locate GB201219835D0, as the actual pub number in the database could be in another format, eg. additional 0, with D0, etc.

      2. What's the title & assignee name for GB201219835D0? Would like to 'close' this loop.

  8. Dear colleagues,

    I want to reinforce what Edlyn has said, and comment on previous issues.

    Muthukumar wrote:

    "Also, this link from EPO (http://documents.epo.org/projects/babylon/eponet.nsf/0/A26C372A1CC14B6EC12572EB004BC06C/$File/great_britain.pdf – Page 1) indicates D0 is the kind code in the EPO’s DOCDB (bibliographic) for  A0.

    A post from PIUG last year also mentions “On the other hand, the D0 kind code on GB records in INPADOC is not an application kind code, it is the published document kind code for announcements that an application has been filed.  I don't have a copy of a record, but I suspect that most of the D0 records have the application kind code A.” (http://wiki.piug.org/display/PIUG/INPADOC+kind+code+question)"

    The first paragraph quoted holds the essence of the problem.  For many years, INPADOC used the GB-A0 code whilst the EPO's DOCDB used GB-D0 for the same "publication".  The two kind codes are synonyms, and after the INPADOC database was merged with the DOCDB, we now get this confusion.  The Delphion list is based on the INPADOC kind codes, and so does not list the DOCDB equivalent.

    I would emphasise that there is no actual publication, so there is no point in trying to locate a physical document corresponding to a -D0.

    The second paragraph has confused application kind codes (otherwise known as priority kind codes) with publication kind codes.  Most application kind codes are A, and these refer to "standard" applications which you find in all patent cases filed.  INPADOC also adopted a number of alternative application kind codes, to represent newly filed applications which were either for a different IP right (e.g. U for a utility model application) or for an application which had some relationship with an earlier-filed one (e.g. US-A3 was an application number for a divisional case, or W for cases which are PCT transfers to the national phase).  The application kind field was non-indexed in many commercial vendor loads of the database.  So the comment above is correct - "the D0 kind code....is NOT an application kind code..., it is a ....[publication] kind code....".  But it is still a publication kind code which refers to a non-document, or phantom as Edlyn calls them.


    Stephen Adams

  9. Stephen - Thank you for your comments particularly towards understanding the application kind codes with publication kind code. It is very useful.

    Rex - Thanks for highlighting Mindy's problem regarding patent expiration time frame. I will review this. I was glad to see Orbit was able to sort out the issue.

    Ashish, Thank you for sharing the document number. As Stephen highlighted there is no actual publication /physical document corresponding to a -D0. There is no document (GB201219835D0) available and we are unable to locate the same. However, from weekly update of EPO  (http://www.epo.org/searching/data/data/tables/weekly.html), the general info on GB-D0 is available. May be we can write to patentdata@epo.org for obtaining further information on this document. If I get any additional information I will come back and share

    1. Muthu,

      I'm sorry if this sounds like a broken record, but I can only repeat what has been said before.  You wrote:

      "May be we can write to patentdata@epo.org for obtaining further information on this document".

      There is NO document issued corresponding to GB-A0 / -D0 publication kind codes.  These bibliographic items are drawn from the UKIPO's official gazette, now called the Patents Journal, and consist solely of the UK application number, foreign priority (if claimed), applicant name, title and UK application date.  If the application is a PCT entering UK national phase, you will also get the PCT application number and publication number.  This content is published approximately 6 weeks (sic) after the application has been lodged.  The following is an extract from the latest issue of the Patents Journal, showing a real entry:


      The full specification will be published at around 18 months after priority and allocated a 7-digit publication number in the 2,000,000 series.  Between the A0 and the A document, there will usually be no additional publication of any details.


  10. One more thing is evident from the record Stephen provided with his comment: this application has already been published.

    This particular GB application is a national phase application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty.  The record says there is a PCT publication, WO2012/130365, filed 23 February 2012, filed in the European Patent Office and claiming EP priority of 25 March 2011. It's probably unusual for an EP priority filing to end up as a GB national patent, but that's what this record seems to say has happened.

    Legally, the filing of a PCT application has the effect of filing national patent applications in all of the designated countries, and the applicant has the option of nationalizing the PCT application up to 31 months after priority.  I don't know if the GB patent law requires republication of PCT applications before grant (they don't republish EP applications).  I also don't know whether you can inspect the files of pending GB national applications.  If so, you could see if any amendments have been filed.  If not, the WO document should tell you what was disclosed in the application.


  11. Dear all,

    Reiteraiting what Edlyn and Stephen had said, the information below from UK IPO is the only information available and the full specification will be published 18 months after the priority date, around May 2014.

    UK IPO Patents Journal:

     Publication Date: 19 December 2012 (Journal 6448)
    Application Number: GB1219825.4
    Applicant: Honeywell Technologies Sarl
    Title: A valve controller in combination with an energy harvester
    Date Lodged: 5 November 2012 


  12. Edlyn,

    Trust me to choose an example which confuses the issue further!  The clue is in the applicant location - Merck Patent GmbH points to Germany. You can interpret the format of the EPO filing number to indicate this as well - the first two digits represent the year of filing (11 in this case) followed by a serial portion 002503.  The range of numbers between 000001-075000 is reserved for paper applications lodged at EPO Munich.

    It's not uncommon for German companies in particular to use the EPO as priority filing office, depositing at Munich.  Similarly, Dutch companies will often file their priorities via The Hague directly into the EPO system.  The only difference this time is that they appear to have merely used their priority filing as a place-holder, then applied via the PCT at the end of the Convention year.  The October 2013 'date lodged' represents the national phase entry to GB. The applicant has apparently not yet decided whether they want to hold a GB granted patent or an EP granted patent designating GB.  Assuming that the GB-B case publishes first, they will have to renounce one or the other when the EP-B publishes.

    By the way, it's worth noting that, in common with most other member states of the EPO, the UK gets double designated on all PCT applications by default, once via the EPO route and a second time via the national route.  The only exceptions are where countries have closed the national route (e.g. France).  If you examine the front page of the WO document, you will see that GB appears at INID 81 and INID 84, whereas FR appears only at INID 84 because they have closed the national route.

    I hope this helps,


  13. Stephen,

    and with the Unitary Patent a country like UK could even be involved in a triple way (GB, EP/GB, EP/UP)?


    1. Not quite, Guido.  Under the expected regime, the Unitary Effect will not feature in pre-grant designations at all.  It is only a change to an existing EP-B which (as I understand the Regulation) cannot be applied for until after grant has taken place.  There is not even a mechanism by which the applicant can hint at their intentions (which is effectively what PCT designation has become).  But your point does raise the ongoing confusion which the new system is likely to cause.  Still, what's life without the odd challenge? (wink)


      1. Thank you Stephen for the clarification with regard the pre-grant situation, but considering the post-grant of eg. a PCT with both GB (national) and EP designated and entered the national phase, I understand that we could have in the same family a GB B (directly from the PCT), a GB validation (from the EP B), and a "UP B" (from the same EP B) with effects in the UK territory.

        Or it will not be possibile to designate in the same EP eg. GB and UP?

        Anyway, plus, of course, a national GB B outside the PCT/EP framework. And, of course again, more than one GB/PCT/EP in the same family, may be also as priority... 

        It's a real odd challenge, and I cannot figure out now pros and cons of the different strategies but I'm sure someone will choose the most tricky one, at least to make our searcher's life even more attractive (wink)


        1. Guido,

          As regards the post-grant situation, I don't think it will be as complicated as that.

          If an applicant decides to pursue their PCT application simultaneously through the GB national phase and the EPO regional phase, then it is practically certain that the GB case will grant first.  That can stay in force until such time as there is a grant issued by the EPO.  At that point, GB national law requires that one of the two patents is renounced by the holder, to avoid double-patenting.  That is a well-established procedure.  The same would apply in the less-likely situation of the EP-B designating GB granting first, followed by the GB-B; in order to avoid two patents co-existing on GB territory for the same invention, the patent proprietor would have to withdraw one or the other, and in most cases I suspect that they would maintain the EP-B.  You are right that the documents would be in the same family in bibliographic terms i.e. the family structure would show WO-A, EP-A, GB-A, EP-B, GB-B all listed, but the legal situation is that only one patent would be in force.

          With regard to the UP complication, it is an integral part of the Regulation that, if unitary effect is applied for (and would by definition include GB), the national authorities are required to ensure that the 'traditional' EP-B designating GB does not enter into force.  However, the problems arise with the timing.  The GB Journal shows grant of all EP-B cases affecting GB on the day of publication of the EP-B grant announcement, before the application for unitary effect has even been lodged.  Since the advent of the London Agreement, there is no event (like an additional lodging of translation) to act as a marker to show that a granted EP-B has entered into force in the UK; indeed, it appears that some proprietors can be surprised to discover that they are the proud owners of GB patent rights, since they did not have to do anything additional.  As a result, if the UKIPO continues to publish grant notices as promptly as before, they will then have to issue a second notice withdrawing the EP-B(GB) in favour of the UP(GB).  If, as the authorities hope, unitary effect is adopted for the majority of granted EP cases, there is a risk that many national patent offices will have to adopt a similar two-stage notification.  I cannot see them delaying notice of grant until after the unitary effect application window has closed.

          As you say, it's going to result in some peculiar families, although I think that the primary impact is going to be that we can no longer rely upon the interpretation of a bibliographic family structure to determine where rights are in force - it will be necessary in all cases to refer to the legal status events as well.


  14. Thank you Stephen,

    that's enlightening!

    Happy new year to everyone