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Policy for linking to patent pages in External Links[edit]

I've been in discussions with Chaser (talk · contribs) about the best policy for linking to patent reference pages. I've been using lately and I recommend it (it's free, of course, or I wouldn't even mention it, with very powerful search syntax) -- I've linked to some of their patent pages using both Reference citations and, when there has been no exact match for a citation, in External Links, but some of those External Links have been deleted by other editors. Chaser suggested I post here to get feedback on this issue. My (revised) thought is that appropriateness should be determined on a case-by-case basis, so perhaps the proposed External Link should first be added to the Talk page for a given article to get clearance from other editors before adding it as an external link. Any thoughts? —Snarkosis (talk) 00:26, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

I cannot think of a single circumstance where a link to this site would serve a useful purpose. The links you appear to be adding are merely search result pages for patents related to the topic in question. Completely and utterly useless. Add to that the fact that the site is a commercial one which large amounts of advertising when there are plenty of non-commercial and advert-free sites to which similar links could be made (in the unlikely event that they were deemed useful) and I can't see there is much to discuss. Please provide an example of a useful link and explain why it would be useful. Then explain why espacenet, the USPTO website or google patents as free resources are deficient.
I see the site does include some non-patent resources (eg IBM disclosures). But, again, I fail to see why the original published source is deficient and why the commercial link is necessary. GDallimore (Talk) 00:51, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
Snarkosis, I see no reason to use links and I have already said this to you on your talk page. As well, the standard external links warning you received on your talk page has links to our relevant policies and guidelines. --A. B. (talkcontribs) 01:00, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Regarding the usefulness of the search query links, I consider it potentially quite useful when it is a highly focused search query that matches closely to, say, a specific technology that is the subject of a given Wikipedia article. Why wouldn't corresponding relevant patents be useful "additional information" for a given topic? I'm not saying in every case, but certainly in some cases, and therefore not "completely and utterly useless". That's my considered opinion anyway, but if the consensus is that it's always useless, then so be it, I won't bother with such links.

I concede your point about the ads, and perhaps my preference has been based too much on the layout and usability advantage that I think the pages have. In other words, I think the process of using is better than the process of using USPTO or espacenet, with better search and more features, but perhaps just looking directly at a single static page others might prefer a different site's patent dislpay. Personally, I think's layout and usability is superior, as can be seen in these 3 versions of the same patent page, from each service:

Again, this is my opinion, and I'll go along with the consensus on this -- if all patent links must be to USPTO or espacenet, even though currently editors post links to dozens of different patent sources, I can live with that, though I'll likely post fewer patents, as I prefer to use from a process point of view. Not a big deal. —Snarkosis (talk) 17:37, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

We sometimes use Template:Caselaw source for Supreme Court cases (example). I'm not sure we're there yet for patents, however.--Chaser (talk) 02:42, 23 November 2010 (UTC), although presenting patent text more clearly, appears to omit the drawings, presumably due to copyright. In my opinion drawings are often essential for understanding a patent. FreeFlow99 (talk) 21:43, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

There are no copyright issues. If they are not available it is because they are trying to make money. wipo,, uspto, google are all free. i don't think there is any policy at wikipedia about which site to use.Jytdog (talk) 00:47, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

Proposed merge[edit]

If anyone wants to weigh in on whether this article and the Societal views on patents articles should be merged, then here you go: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Societal views on patents. GDallimore (Talk) 22:38, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I have withdrawn the nomination for deletion, as what I think is appropriate is a merger.

I propose that Societal views on patents be merged into Patent. Most of the content of Societal views on patents violates WP:OR or WP:SYN and the criticism content blends very easily into this article. The resulting article is not too long nor does it create undue weight -- it has about 5000 words, and as per WP:SIZE this is even under the recommended length of 6,000 to 10,000 words. I actually did the merger and it was reverted - you can see how the resulting article would look [here]. Jytdog (talk) 03:05, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for your comment! How would you see it expanded, and what is your objective basis for saying there is huge current interest in the topic? In my opinion there is not huge current interest, so I am curious.Jytdog (talk) 12:40, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm speaking as an IT geek. There is a lot of current interest in patent trolls and the use of patents to defend a shrinking business, as opposed to supporting a growing business. We also have companies like Kodak that have effectively collapsed, and their remaining value is based on their patent holdings and little else. "Societal" is perhaps rather broad for these and "business community" is a closer fit, but it's still a much broader scope than the mere legal and technical aspects of a patent. Andy Dingley (talk) 13:36, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
 :Thanks for your response! THe USPTO is in the Department of Commerce -- patents have always primarily been a business tool used to exclude competitors - that's why businesses invest money in getting them. So interest in the business community is nothing new. I do completely hear you that patents are a big deal in the IT industry these days as they have come to play a big role there over the past few years, especially wrt to Software patents and trolls, litigation b/n google and samsung, etc. The wiki-community is pretty IT-geeky. So we already have the article wikilinked above, as well as Software patents under United States patent law and Software patents under United Kingdom patent law and Software patents and free software and List of software patents and of course Software patent debate. The topic is also discussed in the article I want to merge into this one, and this one. In other words, the topic is beat to death on wikipedia.Jytdog (talk) 14:19, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose - this article is already long enough. Expand the other article which is clearly notable. You say you made some improvements in merging that article with this one. So why not make those improvements in situ. Seems simple enough. I simply cannot see a single reason, good or otherwise, for merging the two articles. GDallimore (Talk) 13:13, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for commenting. What is your basis in wikipedia policy for saying it is "long enough"? I noted above that even with the merge this article would still be shorter than the range recommended and only half way to the limit for max length. As for fixing it, I did what I thought was best by merging the article into this one. Jytdog (talk) 14:19, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
I cannot speak for GDallimore but if you merge the two articles it would be hard to navigate. There is already a link to the page for people who want to see it. MGray98 (talk) 00:31, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
thanks, the proposal is dead. . GDallimore opposes and will not discuss so consensus will be impossible.Jytdog (talk) 00:56, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Don't be a dick. Everybody else here opposes the merger to. GDallimore (Talk) 10:59, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Back at you, non-responder.Jytdog (talk) 16:04, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Based on the consensus, I have removed the tags proposing a merger. LT90001 (talk) 14:01, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Acceptable link?[edit]

Hi All

A new user, Mavady, wanted to add the following link to the article I reverted the addition, on the grounds that this looks a lot like link spam, and there are other sites that explain what a patent is in plain language. I asked Mavady what was up with this, and Mavady said "I actually found this content more helpful than the other references. This was really well written and even my kids got a good understanding from it. I am sorry if it appeared to be spam but I just wanted to add some simplicity to this complex subject." To be honest, I agree with Mavady that the explanation on that page is exceptionally clear. I went hunting for something good - really aimed at the public, and found some links. But to frank, I found nothing that is as clear, in my eyes. I objected to this link because of the way the page is constructed -- the top of the page is an FAQ for IPsmartup's services - the very clear information is in the middle of the page under Patent FAQs. The way the page is constructed, once cannot link directly to the clear information. Somebody who follows the link looks first at the the thing at the top of the page - basically an ad for the company. This makes it too link-spammy to me. But since this is one against one, it seemed reasonable to take this to talk. What do you all think? Jytdog (talk) 04:49, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

I suggest you rewrite the spam page with equally clear prose and reference the Patent Office web site. Greensburger (talk) 05:23, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

But its not a spam page, it just happens to be a commercial website, that specific page is not selling anything or having any malicious intent. Also they might have copyrighted the contentMavady (talk) 06:02, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
I think it's spam. But it doesn't matter, it's not a reliable source. GDallimore (Talk) 09:37, 11 April 2013 (UTC)