Thursday, June 22, 2006

Off-topic post: Viewing USPTO patent images

Unless you either browse US patents or write US patent applications, this probably is not of interest to you and I apologize for this off-topic posting.

The reason I am posting it is that for those of us who do use the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office) website, one of the big frustrations most everyone has is the inability to view the patent images. For technical reasons, Apple Quicktime tries to load the TIFF images of the patents and drawings, but cannot do it correctly (so you get none or only part of the image). Like most people who have not discovered "the secret" (after having similarly failed with all the other advertised plug-ins and such), I adopted a work-around using a free patent server, but this was awkward.

Anyway, to make a long story shorter, I have found an image viewer that works in Firefox and IE - Alternatiff. Here is the link. I hope it saves you the frustration I've experienced over the last several years.

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