Amazing Patent Searching Techniques and Tools

What is a Prior Art?

Prior art search refers to the process of finding relevant literature (called as a prior art) that is available in public domain before a particular date. While conducting a search the main focus of the researcher is to locate the closest possible prior art related to a particular invention or idea. Thus, prior art is simply an evidence or proof for existence of a technology-related inventive concept, available publicly. The exact application, meaning and concerned date of the prior art is bounded by various national patent laws. The most common sources of prior art are granted patents, published patent applications and non-patent literature (NPL) such as any published journals, product specifications, whitepapers, books, academic research papers, internet publications etc. Prior art also includes any documentation of the product, its evidence of sale or public use. You can also conduct the search yourself only if you know the Different Steps in a Prior Art Search.

Databases for Patent Search

A number of free and paid databases are available where the patent searching can be performed. These databases cover a worldwide country scope.

Some paid databases are:

  • Thomson Innovation
  • PatBase
  • Derwent World Patent Index (DWPI) is used for design patent search.

Free Databases include: Google Patents and Espacenet.

Several regional/national databases are also used for country-specific search like:

  • PAJ for Japanese (JP) patents
  • Kipris for Korean (KR) patents
  • AusPat for Australian (AU) patents
  • SIPO/CNPAT for Chinese (CN) patents
  • And so on….

Apart from the above mentioned databases, XLPAT- an automated patent search and analysis tool is also used for patent and non-patent literature search. This fully automated tool has a great advantage in exploring every aspect in the domain of patent technology. XLPAT is a powerful tool developed using 9 years of IP search experience at TTC, to enhance the quality of prior art searches.

Strategies for Patent Search

A standard patent search on any of the above mentioned databases includes the following key steps:

  1. Understanding the claims/novelty of the invention
  2. Webbing of the Subject Patent (subject patent refers to the patent to be invalidated)

Patent Webbing refers to the analysis of the backward citations and forward citation of the subject patent. This is done by taking into account the forward citations of the backward citations and backward citations of the forward citations.

Suppose A is the backward citation of the subject Patent and B is the forward citation of the subject Patent.

X = All forward citations of A

Y = All backward citations of B

Webbing = X OR Y

  1. Inequitable Search

This is an important step while conducting an invalidity search. Inequitable Search is done to identify any extra citation cited in any of the family members of the subject patent.

Suppose B = Backward Citations of the Subject Patent

A= Backward Citations of the family members of the subject Patent

Inequitable Search = A NOT B

  1. Keyword based search

Identify the relevant keywords and their logical variations/synonyms. Combine the keywords in a logical fashion to form search queries.

  1. Classification based search

Various Classifications such as IPC, CPC, US, and ECLA are used in search strings. Fully Independent Class based search is performed for an extensive search in a technology domain.

  1. Assignee and Inventor name based search
  2. Complex search strings or combinational search

Broad and narrow search strings are used to approach the prior art from different directions. Logically relevant keywords and classes are combined to create a complex query to approach more relevant results.

  1. Applying Restrictions:
  • Search in Select Sections of Patent Applications. Patent databases allow searching within: text sections, title, abstract, claims, bibliographic details.
  • Search using date criteria (usually the earliest priority date)
  1. Non-patent search (not relevant in case of an FTO search) 
  2. Citation analysis

Analysis of forward and backward patent and non-patent citations of the most relevant patents identified in the above steps.

Prior art searches can be performed by an individual using a number of databases listed above. One may take assistance of professional patent search firms to conduct a more thorough and comprehensive search using a combination of paid databases.

TT Consultants ranked as the TOP Company by JETRO

TT Consultants has recently been rated as the TOP Company in Patent Searches in India, in an evaluation conducted by a sub group of JAPAN EXTERNAL TRADE ORGANIZATION (JETRO).

The report that was published in May 2015 is based upon an open evaluation of about 30 companies wherein they were given a few searches to run.”This is perhaps the only independent and in-depth assessment done so far by and internationally renowned organization” remarks a patent engineer with experience in the domain.The report is titled ‘Evaluation of patent research companies in India’ and is available on the JETRO website. Continue reading

TT Consultants add automation to Technology Landscapes

TT Consultants announced today that it has brought in automation and big data analytics to Patent and Technology landscapes using XLPAT. Users will now be able to get a handle on data, use powerful tools to identify licensees, products, technologies and experts of Interest.

We call it “democratization of data” said, Sandeep Kohli, the inventor of the set of tools. We will now enable users to get relevant datasets, set parameters and iteratively analyze large sets of Patent data. Continue reading

TT Consultants Appoints a New Chief Operating Officer

TT Consultants has appointed Mr. Vipin Sharma as the New Chief Operating Officer.

 Vipin brings onboard 17 years of rich multi national work experience. With a proven track record ofimplementing innovative strategies and HR interventions for accelerated growth of the organization.

Vipin Sharma Pic

“Having Vipin onboard as the COO, will lead TT Consultants to  become globally competitive and will make TT Consultants an innovative  multi-national company.” said Komal Talwar

This is an exciting time for me, specially joining at a phase when  many aspects of the business are being taken to modern global  standards. TT Consultants has certainly made steady steps in modernizing its entire business over the last 5 to 7 years. TT Consultants has done considerably good work and has established itself as a strong brand among clients and general market spec in this high end Global Industry. Continue reading

Career Opportunity @ TT Consultants : Digital Marketing Associate

TT consultants invites Applications for the post of Digital Marketing Associate.


  • Any Graduate.
  • Min experience of 2-4 years in Search Engine Optimization.
  •  Should know SEO post Panda, Penguin, Mobilegeddon and other major Google Updates. Knowledge of best practices for organic SEO, including knowledge of search engine spiders and search engine ranking factors. Good knowledge of keyword analysis, off page and on page SEO strategies, competitor analysis.
  • Building and executing on-site and off-site SEO strategy. Explore new online resources for generating back links.
  • Strong analytical, problem-solving and organisational skills.
  • Expert in Google Webmasters, should be able to analyse and monitor site health regularly.
  • Thorough knowledge of Google analytics. Should be able to interpret data from GA and keep track of traffic.
  • Have a deep understanding of Google Adwords. Should be able to run and monitor Ad campaigns.
  • SMO skills a must. Will be required to update social media accounts of the company.
  • Keep abreast of white hat and black hat tactics so as not to violate search engine guidelines.
  • Excellent writing, grammatical and editing skills. Should be expert in Content optimization.
  • Generating reports and keeping track of progress.
  • Knowledge of WordPress CMS and website administrations would be an extra advantage.

Continue reading