Should a virtual marking registry use a downloadable document?
Several organizations have launched virtual marking registries that provide notice via a downloadable PDF-format document that lists products and patents.
In some instances, competitors and consumers who access the virtual marking are directly shown within the Internet browser a PDF document. In other instances, the patentee has created a page that offers the user a listing of products or brands and a link to download or open one or more individual PDF documents.
It is broadly accepted that patentees who elect this method should use the PDF format because of its wide availability and ease of access.
Kimberly-Clark has published a virtual marking registry that uses this method. Each major brand has an individual PDF file associated with it. Note that by visiting its virtual marking, www.kimberly-clark.com/patents, the user is automatically redirected to a different URL inside the Kimberly-Clark web site where the information is presented. It is unclear if this “redirecting” method will be acceptable in the future and is not recommended.
Downloadable files require manual creation of the registry, and are generally considered time consuming to maintain and manage. This is especially so for product portfolios that have varying models.