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Searching

From the homepage, you can begin your search in a few ways:

  • Enter a patent publication or application number, such as [US9014905B1], [9014905], or [US 14/166,502]
  • Enter freeform text, such as [autonomous vehicle camera]
    • You can also enter ["exact phrases"] and metadata restricts [assignee:"Google Inc"], [inventor:page], and [before:2001].
    • Note: inventor and assignee names must be entered using the prefixes.
    • If you are looking for prior art, check the "Include non-patent literature" box to include results from Google Scholar.
  • Paste a large block of text, such as a paragraph, to run the Prior Art Finder keyword extractor to suggest search terms.

After you begin your search, your search query is displayed on the left side of the page. The "Search Terms" section contains text keywords that match patent title, abstract, claims and description, and the full text of Scholar documents, as well as CPC codes. Each search term and search field box is ANDed together, and you can add an OR to each term by clicking inside a box to the right of the existing query term. After you change your query, click away from the box or press ENTER to perform the search.

 

Searching by keywords and classifications
  1. From the homepage, enter one or more keywords in the search box. Each word is ANDed together. Press ENTER to search.
    1. You can search CPC codes by entering [cpc:A01B]
  2. Your search query now appears in the top-left of the screen under "Search Terms", or at the top of the screen at lower screen resolutions. If the query is at the top, click it once to expand it for editing.
  3. To add additional AND conditions, enter new phrases in the "+ Search term or CPC" box. 
  4. To add an OR condition, enter the phrase to be ORed to the right of one of the existing search terms by clicking on "+ Synonym".
  5. To search by CPC code, enter the code the same as you would enter a keyword phrase, either as an AND or and OR condition. Searching for a CPC codes includes all child codes. CPC codes can be combined with keywords in the same Search Term box.
  6. Press ENTER or click away from the Search Terms input box to perform the updated query.

Keywords can be quoted for "exact search", and keywords and CPCs can be -negated with a minus sign in front. Keywords are automatically stemmed and include close synonyms.

For faster query entry with your keyboard, pressing TAB will add a new synonym, and pressing ENTER will add a new search term box. Arrow keys and TAB/SHIFT+TAB also work to navigate between boxes.

The "Search Terms" section provides autocomplete suggestions for CPC codes by machine-classifying your search query. More weight is given to terms in the same box when determining suggestions. You can refine the suggestions by typing in keywords, which will be assigned an even higher weight during classification. If you begin typing a CPC code, the classification suggestions are restricted to codes with that prefix.

Searching with boolean logic, proximity, in title/abstract/claims, and wildcards

  1. Go to Advanced Search (boolean entry isn't available on the homepage)
  2. Enter your query in a "Search Term" box on the left

Boolean syntax (USPTO or EPO format): For more complicated searches, full boolean logic is supported. The default operator is AND with left associativity. Note: this means safety OR seat belt is searched as (safety OR seat) AND belt. Each word automatically includes plurals and close synonyms, and CPCs can also be used without a special syntax, like (safety belt) OR B60R22/00. Adjacent words that are implicitly ANDed together, such as (safety belt), are treated as a phrase when generating synonyms.

Proximity: You can use proximity operators to boost the score of documents if they contain expressions near each other. Note: proximity operators only change ranking, not retrieval. NEARNEARxNEAR/x, or /xw means matches are a maximum of x words away, in any order. WITH means 20 words away, any order, and SAME means 200 words away, any order. AJDAJDxADJ/x, or +xw are the same as NEAR, but matches must be in the same order.

Example: (safety ADJ/5 belt) NEAR/10 (baby OR child) SAME vehicle.

Searching in title, abstract, claims, CPC: You can search inside a specific field using field names. Use TI=(safety belt) to search in the title, AB= for the abstract and CL= for the claims. For CPCs, CPC=B60R22 will match documents with exactly this CPC, CPC=B60R22/low matches documents with this CPC or a child classification of this CPC. CPCs can also be used without a field prefix (see Searching by keywords and classifications above).

Wildcards, truncation: Although we automatically generate plurals, you can instead specify wildcard patterns of words to search. Wildcards only work on single words. The top 25 most common matches will be ORed together. Note: wildcards only work on English words. The wildcards are ? (zero or one character), * or $ (zero or more characters), $x (zero to x characters), and # (exactly one character). You can include more than one wildcard symbol per word. Examples: *saccharide? and hydroxy*phenyl*.

Searching by metadata (inventor, assignee, date, etc)
  1. From the homepage, enter one of the following field names (without the [brackets]). Press ENTER to search after typing:
    1. Search inventors [inventor:bell] or [inventor:"Alexander Graham Bell"]
    2. Search assignees [assignee:google] or [assignee:"Google Inc"]
    3. Search before or after filing date (can be changed to priority or publication date after the search) [before:2010], [after:"Jan 2006"], [before:"1/2/2006"]
    4. Search patents by country [country:US]
    5. Search patents by status [status:grant]
    6. Search patents by language [language:english]
  2. To add new metadata search restricts, click on a box in the "Search Fields" section on the left, or at the top of the screen at lower screen resolutions. If the query is at the top, click it once to expand it for editing. Additional fields can be found by expanding the "MORE" menu.
  3. Many fields support more than one input. To enter an additional AND or OR to a metadata field, click the name of the field inside the box to the right of the existing query, for example "+ Inventor".
  4. Press ENTER or click away from the Search Fields input box to perform the updated query.

The inventor and assignee fields provide autocomplete suggestions. You can type the prefix of any word, or multiple prefixes "univ ca" -> "The Regents Of The University Of California".

Keywords, inventors and assignees can be excluded/NOTed by adding a minus sign in the beginning, such as [-shovel], and exact phrases can be searched by adding quotes around the phrase, such as ["drag line"].

The field before and after dates search on (filing, priority, publication) can be changed by clicking on the underlined date type in the search fields box.

When searching with non-patent literature included, the before, after, inventor and CPC fields work across patent and Scholar results.

Searching by patent or application number
  1. From the homepage, enter a patent publication or application number. The number can optionally include the country code and kind codes. See the examples below:
    1. US9014905
    2. US 9,014,905 B1
    3. 9014905
    4. US 14/166,502
  2. A list of matches will appear in the dropdown menu. Use the arrow keys to navigate and press ENTER or click to go directly to the result.

 

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