It is often the case when you have performed a search that you may look at your results and think that they are not very relevant in comparison to what you were expecting or hoping to see. There are various ways of going far in addressing this problem, in this article some of the most useful techniques are given:
- Use the TAC search command: When you search using the "All" search field, this searches through all the patents to find the keyword(s) you have inputted which includes less important parts of the patent such as the description. Searching the title, abstract and claims are more important since the title and abstract both give a brief and informative description of the invention and the claims describe exactly what the patent is protecting, and defines the limit of what the patent owner has a right to exclude others from doing. In comparison, the description, which gives a full explanation of the invention often doesn't define what is protected and will often mention words not specific to this technology. You can search through the title, abstract and claims in PatSnap by using the search command TAC. For example, the search query TAC:("vacuum cleaner") will bring back any patents that have the term "vacuum cleaner" in the title, abstract or claims. You can find out more about the different PatSnap search commands here: Search Helper
- Use synonym terminology: Within patents, it is often the case that companies use synonyms for certain keywords so that their competitors find it more difficult to find these particular patents. A way that the competitors can get through this barrier is by working out what synonyms this company is trying to use for these particular keywords. It is helpful on PatSnap to use the Keyword Helper to achieve this task. If you input a word into the Keyword Helper this will allow you to find synonyms for that word. You can also refine this further by selecting or excluding some of the keywords that are given. You can find out more about the Keyword Helper here: Advanced Search 101.
- Use classification codes: There are various different types of classification code which are used to identify patents in a specific field of technology (You can find out about the different Classification Codes here: What Are The Different Classification Codes?). They usually use a hierarchical system made up of letters and numbers although some do this in a different way to others. These classifications can be important to patent searches because they do not have the same flaws as keywords. It doesn't matter if synonyms are used when describing an invention here since it will make no difference to the classification code that is given for the invention. Patent writers will often use tricky and odd language to avoid you finding their document, but they cannot avoid an examiners decision to put it in a certain classification. The question is, how do you know which classification to use? You can find out about this here: How Can I Find A Specific Classification Code?