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Alexander Giesen (Varidian, Germany)
Patent families may introduce an additional layer of complexity to many patent searches. FTO searches and portfolio analyses are in particular affected by patent families. The presentation discusses issues caused by patent families and looks at different approached for dealing with them: approaches to patent family search by various search engines, selection of the best family member based on the scope of the search, selection considering the language skills of the patent researcher, dealing with complex families, family legal status and reporting. The selection of patent family members for FTO searches and patent statistics will be demonstrated in a brief case study.