Okay, old topic but I didn't find any solutions so I thought I'd see if ad'l info might be helpful. Same problem on Firefox 3.6.19 and Safari 5.0.6. Still using Mac OS 10.5.8.
I use to be able to view patent images at http://www.uspto.gov, but now I get the quickly flashed QuickTime Q followed by a page with the site's background images, all nicely framing a page of blank content. I can 'right click' and select 'Save As Source' but the downloaded file saves in a way that I haven't seen before:
It turns out that the actual extension is the '.' (dot). If I do a 'Get Info' for the file in 'Finder' it shows: "Kind: TIFF image". The 'mode' for the photo shows as bitmap. If I do a 'Save As' and select '.tiff' as the extension it adds it at the end of the .DImg. so that I end up with 'filename.DImg..tif' —yep, that's a double dot. There doesn't seem to be much of an issue with keeping the the '.DImg' and/or the '.' in the filename. All the files open and show as TIFF format. However, at least in GraphicConverter, the title bar shows the file name with ' (Bitmap)' added at the end.
Just one more thing: The files aren't downloading automatically, either. It's like that little QuickTime 'Q' shows up momentarily without doing anything and then hides unless you 'right click' and give it a hint...
If I attempt to change the extension to .tiff when I save the file I get an error message:
Odd thing, I haven't been able to find that dot '.' extension anywhere in the mime settings options. I also haven't found options for '.DImg" or even '.IMG' — extended bit map format files.
I sure would like to be able to view the page content at the USPTO online rather than having to save the files, open them in a photo editor and saving them with .tiff extensions. Another option is to click on the file names in 'Finder' and replace the original extensions with '.tif'. Neither of these is a lot of fun if you've saved multiple files into different directories. If the files would display, I could always use the GRAB app, capture the image, and then they'd save as TIFF formatted files. Still... extra time and effort required.
So, why not just use the Google Patent search? Because you end up with 72 dpi PDF files and because they aren't always accurate representations when the original USPTO images aren't all that great, Google's digitized version of the drawings tends to have blank areas. If you are looking for detail, that's not helpful, so that kind of rules out using the 'Grab' app. There is a free app (Patent Downloader) but it retrieves the files in rich text format; but you need to have a patent number to get the download.
By the way... I'm pretty sure the information at the USPTO for getting a download app for Macs isn't correct. Maybe someone could connect with them?