Report:Google Patent Search/Search Syntax/Allowed Operators/Boolean and Proximity Operators
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Boolean and Proximity Operators
Google Patent Search is designed primarily to make patent information available for the web surfing masses. Thus, it does not anticipate the kind of carefully constructed queries, utilizing Boolean search operators, that are typical from a patent search professional. Instead, Google Patent Search relies on the typical user-friendly Google Search bar formula, where the lower case “and,” “or” and “not” are treated as search terms, not interpreted as Boolean logic.
What follows is a summary of the allowed operators in Google Patent Search, and their required formats. In Google search bars, the default operator is the Boolean operator AND; this is also true in Google Patent Search. Google Patent Search will support Boolean OR and NOT logic, but there are special rules governing the search syntax: OR must be entered in all caps to be interpreted as a Boolean symbol, and the NOT operator cannot be entered as such (Instead, it must be represented using a hyphen “-“). The examples below are taken from the Google Patent Search FAQ page:
- the "OR" operator returns results that include either of your search terms, as in [[ rayon OR nylon ]];
- the "-" operator excludes all results that include this search term, as in [[ flying -airplane ]].
Finally, a phrase search is supported in Google Patent Search. Although the system does not allow wildcard truncation at the beginning or end of search terms, it does allow a wildcard operator to substitute for a word in a phrase: the wildcard (*) can be substituted for an entire word in a phrase search (again, unlike other patent search systems, it is not a truncation operator).
- phrase search only returns results that include this exact phrase, as in [[ "over the shoulder" ]]
- Use the wild card operator * for entire __words__ in your query. Include an asterisk for each word you would like to replace. This works best when using quotation marks to perform a phrase search. For example: a query for [[“semiconductor * * diode”]] returns within its result set “semiconductor variable capacitance diode”, “semiconductor super- luminescent diode”, and “semiconductor surface barrier diode”. Each asterisk represents one word within the phrase.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "About Google Patent Search." Google Patent Search FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page, http://www.google.com/googlepatents/about.html#faq. Accessed Oct 31, 2007.