Audio Patents Project Report

From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad,

I need to report an update on the project "Audio Patents". Please refer to my previous report (partly kindly revised by Jay) dated Revised 2005-05-22 GB-N + jm Revised 2007-10-05

Historical patent work is a moving target, and the usual delay in finishing any report means that my report beginnings and skeleton PowerPoint presentations have been overtaken by the changes, in particular, in esp@cenet, so last year's report was never finished. It is getting easier and easier to obtain this free information, and I think that my original approach has been superseded. However, even though the British (United Kingdom, Great Britain, GB) contribution to the database has been absolutely fabulous, there are still issues, and I am writing about these. For instance, esp@cenet is making long searches more difficult, because it deliberately loses the links to your precise queries when you proceed along the list of results of the searches. And you need to proceed perhaps 10 pages of 15 results each, because that is where the oldest material is. Here, the answer is to store the queries in a separate file where you can quote it.

My conclusion is that the best we can do in the HC is collecting interested member's comments on specific patents. This is the added value that cannot be obtained from the ordinary databases. Please see the last two paragraphs of this report.

I have regarded it as important to describe how to obtain access to early patents. Patenting was prolific in the US, UK, France, and Germany, and a lot of this material is retrievable. I attach a document "Historical Patents in EPO Databases 2009" that I have extracted from a bi-annual publication  made electronically by the European Patent Office (EPO). This document shows the issue years of patents given access to by esp@cenet. The selection is my personal one, and I have mainly taken countries where dates back to 1920...30 are included. I have written the EPO and obtained permission for the AESHC to upload this document on the website.

So-called family information is very difficult to find concerning historical patents: this means patents for the same invention in several countries. The best compiled information would be found in historical company archives.

Otherwise this information can only be laboriously collated and tabulated by reading the individual patent and noting the circumstances under which the application was written. If it says "Convention Priority", then the date and any number refers to the first application anywhere. However, that number will not be the number that the patent that issues is known under in the first country of application. Again, it is necessary to laboriously collate the information from this publication, only in this case it is called "Application Number". Working systematically, a table of patent families may be built up.

The best subject matter search in an organised fashion is obtained by entering the subject terms in the Abstracts field and GB in the publication number field. This is because volumes and volumes of Abridgments of Patents have been scanned and OCRd along with the images that were in the printed publications. The correctness of the OCR is good, which you cannot say for GooglePatents. And you get access to a pdf copy of the British patent. The date coverage is fabulous.

For US patents, a private endeavour by Patrick Feaster is very useful: his website is:

I should note that in the period since my last report I have had no input from other AESHC members. Would you consider that some reaction might be solicited concerning particular early patents if I sent them to you for uploading and with requests for comments?

If there are any further issues, do not hesitate to contact me.
Kind regards, George Brock-Nannestad

html & edit: J McKnight, 2009-10-12

AES - Audio Engineering Society