Learn how to View USPTO Patent Images
Need to Know Browser Plugin
Viewing Patent images on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website can be challenging, to say the least! The USPTO displays images in Tagged Image File Format commonly referred to as TIFF's. If you have clicked on the Images icon for a patent on the USPTO website and nothing happened, this review is for you. If after clicking the images icon you saw the QuickTime logo appear for a few seconds, then nothing happened, keep reading this review is also for you.
In order to view images of patents at the USPTO website,
you will first need to install a TIFF viewer plugin for your browser. QuickTime is a TIFF viewer, and it has occasionally
worked for me at the USPTO website. However more often than not, patent images failed to display using QuickTime.That was my usual experience. So Here's My Idea find something that will display images from the USPTO website or in other words find something that works!
Enter AlternaTIFF, a free plugin from Medical Informatics Engineering for Internet Explorer and Firefox. I downloaded and installed the 32 bit version plugins for IE 8 and Firefox 3.6 from the alternatiff.com. To try out this plugin, navigate to AllternaTIFF.com and select the appropriate download for your browser. The first option is Internet Explorer auto install, option two is also for Internet Explorer but packed into a zip file, the third option is for most other browsers like Firefox, Opera, Chrome. After selecting the correct option, save the file to an easy to find location on your computer. Once the file is downloaded, double click the AlternaTIFF application file and click yes to allow the program to install. You will then be prompted to register. The plugin is completely free, but registration is required. Click Install, restart your browser and you should be ready to view patent images. The AlternaTIFF website does offer an FAQ and support section if you run into problems.
Another option to view patent images from the USPTO, is to surf over to Google Patents. Google Patents offer a familiar keyword search and images are displayed in Portable Document Format or PDF's. PDF's are very easy to view using your choice of several browser plugins.
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