Patent Searching 101

Catherine Duck Lafrenz discusses the world of intellectual property, patent searching, and demystifying the world of patent searching in this new blog series.

When I first entered the world of intellectual property, I naively thought that there would be a surplus of educational resources on how to perform patent research and structure patent searches.  What I found was quite the opposite.   When I would ask intellectual property experts, “How do I create and structure a patent search?”   I would often get vague replies like, “It depends on the technology,” or “Go read a couple hundred patents” or my personal favorite “Patent searching and research is a dark art that takes years to master”.   I found their advice frustrating and not terribly actionable.  With so many smart and talented IP professionals performing patent research and patent analysis everyday, why were there no introductory guides to mastering the “dark art” of patent searching?

Over the next few months, it is our goal through these blog posts to remove the mystery surrounding patent searching.  In each blog, we will tackle a different facet of patent searching and provide practical patent searching advice and examples using Innography’s patent search and patent analysis tool, Advanced Analysis.

Semantic Patent Searching

Within Innography’s Advanced Analysis, there are three primary means to performing your patent searching:

  • Keyword Patent Searching: the conventional patent searching method used by most patent tools. Innography uses basic Boolean searching and keyword stemming technology to search not only for your search terms, but also for words that are similar to some or all of those terms.
  • Semantic Patent Searching: the next generation in patent search technology. Innography’s semantic patent search specifically keys on context matching and can find matches where the technology terminology may be completely different.  By understanding the technology concept, the semantic patent search engine is better able to identify relevant patent art regardless of the specific words used.
  • Advanced Patent Searching:  Innography provides you with several interactive interfaces that allow you to build a patent search query based on a company of interest, a patent classification code, a set of patent numbers, or other searchable patent fields.

Stay tuned for our next blog topic on keyword patent searching.  Remember the best approach is a multi-layered approach and with Innography Advanced Analysis you can easily combine keyword, semantic, and other advanced patent searches to better inform your patent strategy and intellectual property management.


Scott Davis, 12.11.2014

I agree!  It’s almost a “dark hole” that nobody can easily present/describe.  I’m interested in more on this subject!

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