How to leverage the full potential of Google Patent Search

There has been a tremendous improvement in patent searching in the past decade. The objective behind searching for patents is to find prior art for an existing patent or for an invention for which a patent application is yet to be filed. Earlier, searchers and inventors used to manually search, spending hundreds of hours to find invention(s) similar to their idea. 

 

A quick way to search for patents is using Google Patent Search. The world’s most popular search engine does more than just crawl websites to send you their search results. Google’s sister search engine Google Patent (Database from IFI Claims) can not only search scholarly literature, but it also has the ability to search a huge repository of non-patent literature too- software, applications, manuscripts, and published articles. Google Scholar lets you search government databases too, thus increasing the reach of the patent search. 

 

What is Google Patent Search?

It is a search engine powered by Google which indexes patents and patent applications. Google Patents indexes 87 million patents and patent applications, with full text from more than 17 patent offices around the world. Launched on December 14, 2006, it uses the same technology as Google Books. Google Patents includes text-searchable patents dating back as far as the 1790s. 

 

Advantages of Google Patents:

One of the biggest advantages of Google Patent Search is that it is free. Although there are a number of free patent databases such as Espacenet, PQAI, Lens.org, Patentscope by WIPO, and more, none of them matches Google’s in terms of user-friendliness. There is a lot of content to navigate for the average searcher, and the experience on these sites while browsing, is important, otherwise, it can be too difficult to get the work done. 

There are many paid databases too, but a solo inventor might not be able to cough up the costs to get the license for them. Google Patents has a much better interface than all of these paid databases. You will also be able to get the results faster, they are provided in an easy-to-share PDF format, and the information is presented in a digestible format. 

  • It understands results with PDF, image and citations
  • Its relevancy ranking makes quick searches a reality
  • The results can also be filtered by date
  • Proximity Operators can be leveraged to improve the score if the documents have expressions near one another
  • Keyword and class-based search is possible  in the patent documents
  • Co-operative Patent Classification (CPC) code searching is easier
  • Searching on Google Patents is similar to searching anything on Google
  • You can get the most relevant results for your search query.
  • It is possible to find prior arts 
  • Provides similar documents/patents to the subject patent

 

How to use Google Patent Search?

Quick Search:

If you want to conduct a quick search, all you need to do is enter the term in the search field box. The search term can be a set of unstructured words, a large block of text relating to the invention or keywords pertaining to the technology. 

 

The searcher can also enter the following to get information about related patents:

  • Application number
  • Exact phrases with double quotes
  • CPC code 
  • Country code
  • Language
  • Publication number
  • Search for the inventor or assignee

For example, we have entered the search term as ‘medical equipment,’ and we are shown a list of patents that are in the medical equipment field. You will be able to see a number of options on the left side using which you can further filter the search results. The results are sorted for relevance, you can use other sorting options such as newest or oldest. The searcher can navigate through the result pages to find relevant patents. 

 

Importance of Boolean Operators in Google Patent Search:

To fine-tune one’s queries, searchers should use boolean operators and special characters. One of the best ways to leverage Google Patent Search is to understand how it interprets search requests. Here is how you can use it to its full extent. 

 

  • Keyword search rules:
  • The keywords that you use must be exact and specific
  • Be aware of the right keyword order in which you need to input your search query. The search term medical equipment is going to fetch you more relevant results relating to medical equipment than ‘equipment medical.’ 
  • The keyword searches are not case-sensitive. 

 

  • The AND Assumption:

If you type the keyword medical equipment, Google Patent Search is always going to assume it to be medical and equipment. Therefore, it will search for patents that contain the words medical and equipment. 

To search for a particular term, add a ‘+’ (plus) sign in between the words in the query.

 

  • NOT Command:

If you want to find patents without a certain search term, then you need to use the ‘-’ (minus) sign in front of the word in the query. The ‘-’ sign indicates that the searcher doesn’t want results of patents that contain that term. 

Make sure that there is no space between the minus symbol and the word. 

Laptop-touchscreen

 

When searching for patents related to laptops, if you don’t want anything that pertains to touchscreen technology, this is how you should input your query. For the above search, you will not get patents that talk about touchscreen.

 

  • While searching for a specific phrase:

When searching for an exact phrase, you can use quotation marks around the keywords. For example, if the searcher inputs:

“Contract Lifecycle Management”

Google Patents will only search for patents that will contain the entire phrase “contract lifecycle management.” 

Searchers can include more than one quoted string in a query. The implied AND works not only on individual words but also on quoted phrases. 

 

  • The OR Command:

When the searcher wants to search for one word or the other, they should enter OR (in capitals) between the keywords. Any or all the search terms separated by the OR should appear in the record. 

Chip OR Charger

In the above scenario, Google Patents will search for patents containing either the word chip or the word charger. 

 

Google Patents Advanced Search:

On the Google Patents interface, you can get the advanced search option by clicking the link ‘patents.google.com/advanced.’ It has more search fields that will help you search for the desired patent applications. Let’s see what these fields are and how they can be used for different types of searches.

 

Search Terms: Use the space to enter all the relevant keywords.

Before priority/publication/filing: In this search field, you can enter the priority date, date of publication or filing date of any patent. By entering the relevant details, you will be able to search for documents that are published, filed or have a priority date before a particular date. This feature can also be used for invalidity searches where the intent is to find out documents that have been published before a particular date. 

After priority/publication/filing: Using this search field, you can search patent documents that are published, filed or have a priority date after a particular date. 

Assignee: In this search field, you can search for patents that have been filed by a particular company or person. It is possible to track the patent filing activities of that person/company using this field.

Patent Office: If you want to search for patents from a particular jurisdiction, this is the field that you need to use. You can search patent documents from more than 23 jurisdictions around the globe using this search field. 

Inventor: With this, you can search for patents filed by a particular inventor and can also track their patent filing activities. 

Filing status: You can search for the status of specified patent applications.

Patent Type: You can do a patent search for design or utility patents here.

CPC: Search for patent documents based on a particular CPC.

Citing Patent: It allows you to search for patent documents for which only one particular document was cited during the examination.

Languages: You can search for patent documents in 14 languages. 

With more and more filters added to your patent search, you will be able to get more accurate results. 

For the same search term, we have added the patent office as the US and the type of patent as design, the number of search results has dwindled down to 2,884. Earlier, it was 134,000+ results. 

Source: Google Patent Search

It is best advised to use relevant parameters to get the most relevant results. 

 

Limitations of Google Patents Search:

Since the patent database of Google is not updated regularly, you might not be able to find the latest data, and it may only have the first version of each patent. Also, since this is a free portal, Google does not take responsibility for the information that is presented in its search results. Therefore, you need to check for the veracity of the information from the respective patent offices or use a professional to confirm the same. This might not be the case with paid databases as they will verify the claims made here. 

For those who are beginning, Google Patent Search is a wonderful tool, but if you are looking for a comprehensive set of results, then it is advised to take the services of a professional. There are some inventions that are so complex, and are not easy for inventors to search nor would they have the time to pore through the vast literature in a reasonable period of time without professional help. 

 

Wrapping up:

If you are looking to get a basic idea related to your invention, then Google Patent Search should be your go-to tool. As we have mentioned above, it does come with a few limitations. When the purpose of your search is not critical, you needn’t think twice about using it. Let’s say you spend hundreds of hours poring through a large amount of patent literature, you are either doing it wrong or you’ve struck gold in terms of an invention. 

Are you looking for a partner for all your Intellectual Property related needs?

The team at ResearchWire is capable of handling any type of IP issue. We are experienced at building custom solutions for your specific intellectual property needs. 

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Things To Do When The Patent Examiner Rejects Your Patent

Filing your patent application is an exciting part of the process. But the chances of your patent being rejected will always loom large over your head. Thankfully, there are steps that you can take when the patent examiner rejects your patent.  

Dealing with your patent getting rejected is also a part of the process. In a Yale University study of over 2.15 million US patent applications from 1996 to mid-2013, more than 90% of them were rejected. So if you have filed a patent and it has been rejected, do not fret, you can argue against the examiner’s rejection and get things fixed. 

Before you go about arguing against the rejection, make sure that you know why your patent application has been rejected in the first place. When you understand the reason behind the rejection, you will be able to find a common ground and will also be in a position to seek the right kind of counsel. 

Who denies your patents?

The rejection or approval of patents happens at the patent office. Since there are a large number of patent applications that they receive, you should make it easy for the patent examiner to go through your application with ease. Ensure that your invention is patentable, unique, and non-obvious. Indulge in patent search to make sure that there is nothing similar to your invention. Give enough reasons for the patent examiner to approve your patent application. 

Why do patent requests get rejected? 

For your patent to be approved, it has to pass the patentability criteria. Below are some of the criteria.

Your invention is obvious- If your invention is not unique enough, then the chances of your application getting rejected is high. Your invention must at least be different from other inventions that are similar to yours. 

Poorly filled application- If your application is dotted with errors, you run the risk of getting your application rejected. Ensure that you follow all the guidelines that are to be met when drafting the application. To bring validity to your claims, add as much technical details as possible in a way that everyone can understand. 

Your invention is not novel- The invention for which you are seeking a patent should be the first of its kind. Before you file the application, it is wise to do a patent search to find the novelty of your invention. 

The importance of hiring a patent firm:

While there are a number of measures that you can take to increase the chances of your patent application being accepted, there is a crucial step that you can take to swing things in your favor. If you want a highly efficient solution, then it is wise to seek the expertise of a patent firm. They will not only help you in drafting the patent application, but will also be available throughout the entire process. A reputed intellectual property (IP) firm will have a team of experts who will help you wade through the process efficiently. 

 

Steps to take when the patent examiner rejects your patent:

  • Show why your invention is different:

There are chances that the patent examiner is misinterpreting the prior art incorrectly or too broadly. Or they may be applying the prior art references wrongly. What you can do in such a scenario is to argue how certain claim features are not found in the referenced prior arts. The examiner will then review your arguments, and two things can happen. 

  1. They can review your arguments, agree with them and find new references (or)
  2. Disagree with your arguments and maintain their stance on rejecting your patent. 

Here is what you can do in this scenario. Take the drawings that have been filed in the initial application and highlight a component or a processing step which isn’t shown in the records. You can ask the examiner-”Our invention has X, can you find X in the art of record?” 

  1. Adjust or modify your claims:

There are times when the examiner wants you to make the application easy to understand, so they would advise you to phrase your claims differently. If you make the changes that they have suggested, then the issue could be resolved. 

How you phrase your invention on your patent application has a huge impact. Using irregular terminology or slang is one reason why many patent applications get rejected. Having the advice of an experienced IP team will solve this issue as they are more careful while writing down your invention in the application and are better equipped to handle the entire process.  

  1. Show how your invention works:

There are times when the patent examiner gets back with a comment that reads-”Does the invention work?” 

Here’s what you need to do in this scenario. 

  1. Explain the landscape of relevant technology which existed before your invention.
  2. Explain how your device works.

One of the best ways to explain your invention clearly is to make a video where you outline everything about your invention. If you can schedule a direct meeting with the patent examiner, you can describe your invention directly. 

  1. Check if your patent application is complete:

The first thing that the patent office will review is your application and see if it includes all the necessary parts. To move your application to the next process, the examiner will even go through the technical aspects of your patent application. 

For your patent application to be complete, the following should be included:

  1. At least one patent claim
  2. Inventor’s oath or declaration
  3. Payment for filing the application
  4. Drawings to describe the invention, if necessary

If any of these are not met, the patent office will get back to you saying that you have submitted an ‘incomplete’ application. 

Conclusion:

Your objective should be to convince the patent examiner to allow your claims by modifying them and also by presenting your case properly. It may take a bunch of responses before you can find a middle ground and get your patent application approved. Do not worry about getting your patent rejected, you can make changes to address the objections raised by the examiner.

If you are looking for a one-stop IP solution, ResearchWire is more than happy to onboard you as a partner.When you are not sure about what to do when the patent examiner rejects your patent, get in touch with us- and we can help with next steps.

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8 Ways to Monetize your Intellectual Property

Isn’t that something a lot of businesses are struggling with?

Here is how you can make money from your IP:

#1 Selling patent portfolio:

Doing this can also make you money. If you are looking for cash, selling your patent portfolio is one of the best options. You need to calculate the value of your patents before trying to sell it. Microsoft bought 800 patents from AOL for $1.1 billion in 2012.

 

#2 Co-development:

Get into a partnership with a company that might be interested in the creation of the IP. You need to discuss the scope of the partnership, sub-licensing and subcontracting rights, royalty rates, etc. It is great to distribute risks and use each other’s resources when you don’t have the required arsenal on your side.

 

#3 Licensing:

There are businesses that license their intellectual property assets in non-competing industries to retain their market advantage. Licensing agreements between competitors also spell goodness for everyone involved. The IP owner retains control and the licensor gets to use the IP by paying a royalty.

 

#4 Creating new products:

The most obvious solution to making your patent a cash cow is to create innovative products using them. Find out the opportunities that exist in your market & see if your patent can be used to make such products.

 

#5 In-licensing:

Licensing third-party patents to create commercial products is one way you can earn money. You can find patents that serve a different industry and apply them in your market.

 

#6 Spin-out:

In this, marginally used IP is moved to a different company. Sometimes new companies are established just to use the IP.  Why?  A new company might be able to use the IP effectively. It may also lead to new investments.

 

#7 Securitization:

IP assets like trademarks, patents, etc. have always commanded the respect of investors. Like any form of property, IP assets can be used as collateral.

 

#8 Sale-Leaseback:

If you are looking for cash and are planning to sell your IP, although you still want to use it, then get into a sale-leaseback arrangement.

With all that said, you need to have a broad strategy with short and long-term goals that will give you a sense of direction. Connect with us to discuss options for monetizing or registering your intellectual property.

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