If you work within R&D, there are various reasons of why you will want to be able to perform patent searches. For example, you might want to do a preliminary patent search for one of your research projects or you want to keep up to date with what is going on within your technology field.
How do I build and perform a search?
Consider the terms that should be used before even beginning to search
Patent language can be confusing since patent writers will often deliberately use language which makes it unclear what technology is actually being described. When describing the technology field that you are interested in, it is important to do it in a formal way so that your search query is effective. Some of the questions you should ask are:
- What is my invention?
- What problem am I trying to solve?
- How can my problem be solved?
Once you have got answers to these questions, you can then build a list of synonyms for your search.
Use TAC for your search query
TAC or Title/Abstract/Claims will search within the Title, Abstract and Claims of a patent for the terms that you have included in your search query.
To utilize this within your search, you should put ORs between each of your search terms. This would look something like this: TAC:("search term 1" OR "search term 2" OR "search term 3" OR ...).
Once you have done this, you should see the estimated total results number on the right side of your query. Click on "Search" to review your full list of results.
Analyzing and recording your search results
Use different settings for your search results
Once you reach the search results page, go to the setting cog in the top-right of the screen. Once you are here, you can choose to group your results in various ways and make use of stemming (you can find out more about stemming in this article: Stemming and Wildcard 101).
Make use of the highlighter tool
Once you have performed your search, if you click on any one one of the patents, the keywords you used in your search will be included in the highlighter tool and will be highlighted in the full text of the patent.
Save your search query and create an email alert
You can save your search query by clicking on the "Save Query" button, you can find previously saved queries by going to the "Saved Searches" area.
You can create an email alert which will enable you to be informed of any newly published patents that match your search query. You will also be able to decide who the recipients are for this email alert and its frequency.