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.

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

Patent News RoundUp


Ericsson sues Apple over patents

Ericsson is suing Apple over “critical functions” in its devices.
The legal actions, announced Friday, relate to Ericsson-owned patents. The company has filed two complaints with the US International Trade Commission and filed seven lawsuits in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against the iPad and iPhone maker, alleging that 41 patents in total are being infringed on. Continue reading

Chemistry and Pharmaceuticals Searching Best Practices

Some technical disciplines require deviations from traditional text and classification search approaches. Chemistry and pharmacology searching is one of the best examples. The problems unique to searching for chemical compounds became apparent as early as the 1960s; to address them, professional indexing companies such as the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) and Derwent Ltd. began to produce specially created data files geared towards chemical searchers. This article discusses the special treatment that chemical information receives in the patent world, and the tools and training needed to conduct a thorough search for novel chemical compounds, and pharmacology formulations of known drug compounds.

Substance Searching – Names, Numbers and Physical Properties
To the uninitiated, the most obvious way to search for a chemical compound in a patent document is to perform a search on its name. Continue reading

Patent News Round-up

Texas Instruments continues to build patent portfolio focusing on control signals and semiconductors

Texas Instruments Inc. is an electronics company headquartered in Dallas, TX, and one of the world’s largest manufacturers and suppliers of semiconductors, such as chips for cellular handsets and digital signal processors.

MicroBiome Therapeutics Receives Notice Of Allowance For U.S. Patent Covering Glyceollin As A Treatment For Diabetes And Obesity

MicroBiome TherapeuticsTM LLC, (MBT) today reported that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a notice of allowance for the company’s patent application covering the use of glyceollin to treat diabetes and obesity. Continue reading

TTC Co-founder, Mr. Jitin Talwar speaks at the “Start up Summit – FRO Chandigarh 2015″

TTC Co-founder and a noted Patent Attorney, Mr. Jitin Talwar, recently spoke at the Start up Summit – FRO Chandigarh 2015 at Hotel Taj.

His session on “LEGAL AND TAX: DEMYSTIFIED“ was a presentation, followed by Q&A with delegates. Some key highlights of discussion were:

  • Small businesses are the most likely suffer from legal issues.
  • Managing legal agreements for small-medium enterprise. Basics of contracts as well as protection of intellectual property for SME business
  • Tax Anatomy simplified for SME

Continue reading