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Why are there so many posts that do not mention the number but seem to think we know what they are referring to ? Also why do we get so many strangely off-topic questions and can that be mitigated?

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An answer to the off-topic part of the issue.

In google patents there is a "discussion" link under each listing. Clicking it leads to Ask Patents. The prompt is "ask a question about patent #xyz". The number is placed into the question automatically as a tag. But there is nothing to indicate what is on topic or off topic. The user thinks they have reached a general-purpose discussion of that patent document.

It is no wonder why we get the "how do I get in touch with the inventor" and "has this ever been made as a product"? I think it is a UI problem that should be fixed by adding:

"This is not a general patent discussion board. The only questions that are on-topic are. . . . .".

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