The arena of search is evolving and thus we need to adapt ourselves as per the changing rules. Thus patent search is something that not only requires techno-legal expertise, but also a watchful mind wherein we keep on tracking the changing behavior of patent search databases and patent search engines. With the advent of latest technologies, these search platforms and patent search databases are also inculcating those in their search algorithms to provide the best user experience. Searching Patents
While searching patents and related documents it is important for search professionals to keep a vigilant eye on the changes that a database goes through and change their patent search strategy as per the requirement so as to get the best possible outcome.
In other words, we can say is that for an effective and comprehensive patent search it is important to consider some points that may impact your overall goal.
With this article, we have come up with some important tips that can help patent search professionals doing an effective search for their patents. Here is a list of some major changes that patent search databases have gone through in last few years.
Some Important Tips for Searching Patents –
Semantic Search- With the advent of Artificial Intelligence, computers are being equipped with qualities that can help them interpret things as human do. So, search is becoming smarter day by day and algorithms are being built to interpret search queries contextually and not merely textually. This approach is called as “Semantic Search”. Patent search databases are also incorporating these tactics to provide best search results to its users.
The aim of a semantic search is to understand the intent of the searchers rather than merely interpreting the textual keyword. Though most of the patent search databases have inbuilt semantic search features, still, it is important for the searcher to ensure that they do best on their part to ensure it by creating variants of keywords.
The best way to ensure a semantic patent search is to understand the context of the invention and preparing search terms that can cover the context of the invention comprehensively. To achieve this, individuals doing patent searching need to identify synonyms that might be used for their intended invention(s).
Inclusion of Metadata- The beauty of patent document is that they contain bibliographic data that gives additional information about an invention. Unlike product brochures or press releases these are technical and legal documents, that speaks a lot about the invention like Title of the invention, Document type, Date of application, Date of patent, IPC Classification, National classification, References, Related application data, Assignee (Owner), Attorney or agent, etc., We can include these data in our search as a limiting factor to narrow our search results and get the best result out of mammoth of data.
Limiting search with Boolean Operators- Patent search databases are equipped with Boolean Operators to exclude and filter unnecessary results that may create noise. While searching patents it is important for searchers to include these operators to maximize the benefits of their search. Patent search databases like the one provided by the USPTO or WIPO offers various Boolean Operators like “OR”, “AND”, “ANDNOT” to do an effective patent search.
Understanding inherent nature of the patent search database- Every patent search database is different and hence it is important for patent search professionals to understand its benefits and limitations. Understanding the nitty-gritty of a particular patent search database can help us gain maximum output with minimum input.
Though searching patents is not a rocket science, still, it needs specialized techno-legal expertise along with a watchful mind wherein we need to be cautious about the prevailing trends in the patent search arena.