Report:PatBase/Search Syntax/Searchable Datafields
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Below is a list of all available commands that can be entered through the command line interface. Several of these options are more versatile than can be performed through the simple search form, although the "super class" command (sc=) which will allow classifications from different schedules to be searched in the same string (i.e. sc= A61K or 321/405) is now available in the structured search form under the second drop-down menu of international classification options. Exact assignee or inventor names can be searched with the commands pae= and ine=. These commands are an advantage over the simple search form, but not over other search providers: MicroPatent, for example, allows a function similar to the “super class” command in its web-based search form, and exact assignee and inventor names can be searched in most databases by using quotes around the name.
Two operations which are very valuable for clearance/infringement searching are PDCC and CLCC. PDCC stands for publication date/country code, and is used to limit searches to only family records with family members from a certain authority published before or after a certain publication date: for example, PDUS>1999 would search for only those records with a US family member published in 2000 or later. CLCC stands for claims/country code, and will limit text searching to within the claims of a specific country’s text records: for example, “CLUS=cable car” would search the full text claims of US records to find any that contain the phrase “cable car” (a blank space in PatBase means the two terms will be searched adjacent to one another). Using these two commands together, it would be possible to perform a country-specific infringement type search on live claims only. (note that you can also create a custom format that will display all full text claims for each hit on the main page –as opposed to having to open the full text viewer- which may be helpful for infringement searches. For more information on custom displays, see Display Formats).
The PDCC and CLCC commands are useful, but they should not be regarded as a specific advantage over other databases, most of which allow the user to search only within selected full-text country collections as a matter of course. PatBase now also allows users to limit a full text keyword search to just the full text records of a specific country through the command FTCC=, discussed in further detail later in this section.
In February of 2008, PatBase introduced several new search qualifiers that allow users to search by the number of publications in a family (NP=), and the number of publication countries represented in a family (NC=). These two qualifiers may also be used with the “greater than” and “less than” operators, for example, NP>1 (in combination with additional search terms) will search for all hits with more than one family member. In addition, users may search using the number of forward and backward citations from a patent family as a search limiting term: NCTF ( with >= or <) searches by number of forward citations, and NCTB (with >= or<) searches by number of backward citations.
The utility of limiting the search by number of citations is limited, but it can help users narrow the search to more heavily cited families. Of course, this parameter is heavily dependent upon the publication date of the reference, and also upon the number of members in the patent family, so users should keep this in mind.
In 2009, a new search command that can restrict a search to only publications from a specified country was added to PatBase's capabilities. The format for the new command is FTCC=, where CC is replaced by a specific country code during actual use. The example given in the release notes is FTUS=(jet and ski), which will restrict the full text search on the kewords (jet and ski) to US publications only.
Due to the unique nature of PatBase family records, many searchers had complained about the impossibility to limit keyword searches to only the text of documents which have been issued in a certain country (see the Introduction to the Search Syntax section for more information about perceptions of search accuracy in PatBase). The addition of the FTCC= command addresses those concerns. Alongside this new command, Minesoft also released a version of PatBase Express containing only US art as a response to popular demand. It seems that some customers were overwhelmed by the amount of international data contained in the PatBase database, and were asking for something much simpler and more limited to work with.
In 2010, PatBase added the function to conduct Text, Assignee and Inventor searches in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Russian and Thai with non-Latin text through the command line, and the user must first specify the language using the 2 letter country code before entering the query in the command line (see the Command Line Interface section for more information on this function).
Another new command added in 2010 is EX=, which searches the "Examples" field within the description of a publication.
In 2011, PatBase created a set of "same document" commands, which limit keyword searches to within the same publication. For example, SCL=(apple AND pie) will only retrieve family records that contain at least one publication with both terms "apple" and "pie" within its claims. Users can combine the "same document" command with a country code for Claim and Full Text searches (i.e. SCLUS=(wire AND cable)). Finally, the SP command will search "within the same paragraph within the available Full-text," but this is "dependent on the data from source being indexed correctly." See the list of field qualifiers below for a full list of "same document" commands.
The "same document" commands may be useful for increasing the relavency of results, especially if the user is looking for multiple query terms within a single document. The "same document" command will guarantee that at least one document within a family record contains all relevant search terms, instead of relevant terms being spread out among multiple family documents.
Custom User Fields
In 2011, PatBase added the feature of Custom User Fields. According to the PatBase Manual, administrators can create up to 10 customized user fields per PatBase account, and these fields "can be made visible and searchable, if required, to all other PatBase users who have access to the same account." PatBase administrators can search and edit all Custom User Fields, and non-administrators can search these fields if the administrator has granted them view/edit access.
- Field name
- Field type (select via drop-down menu: single selection of values, multiple selection of values, text field, or date field)
- Field position (select via drop-down menu)
- User Permissions (select via drop-down menu)
- Field values (add multiple values)
According to the PatBase Manual:
If you selected the options 'Allow single selection of values' or 'Allow multiple selection of values' from the 'Field type' drop down menu, then you will need to enter a value in the text box entitled 'Field Values' and select 'Add value'. The value will be added to into the large text box below and, if you create more than one value, you can use the options listed below this text box to edit the value or adjust the display order of the field values in relation to each other. Click to highlight the value within this box, then use the options to move the position or edit the value.
Once the field has been successfully created, the administrator can further edit the field ("Edit Field") or delete the field ("Delete").
The Custom User fields can be assigned to records individually through the "Add Custom User Fields" link (or edited through "Edit Custom User Fields") on the Classic/Full/Custom display format of the record. Custom User Fields can also be assigned in bulk through the Search History page under the "More Options" menu located beside each search query. Users can bulk assign Custom User Fields to a maximum of 250 records at one time, and "PatBase will use your default sort order to select the first 250 records if your search query contains more than 250 records." Custom User Fields are visible in the Classic and Full display formats and can also be made visible in Custom display formats for family records.
The PatBase Manual illustrates where users can access the Custom User Fields, under the Search option of the floating toolbar.
After accessing the custom user field search form through the Search option in the toolbar, users can enter search criteria and/or select field values from a drop down menu or checkboxes (depending on the user-defined search criteria). According to the PatBase manual, "when searching on more than one custom user field, the values will be combined with the Boolean operator 'AND'." An example of a custom user field search form is illustrated in the screenshot below (from the PatBase Manual).
The Custom User Field feature will be particularly useful to patent searchers and analysts working with a large collection of pre-defined records, who need to add comments or assign technology fields or other criteria to certain records within the collection. The maximum of 250 records in bulk assignment of Custom User Fields may therefore be a frustrating limitation for users who need to assign a particular field to hundreds or thousands of records within a collection.
Field Qualifiers in PatBase
(as presented by PatBase user guide materials)
Qualifiers for Bibliographic Data
|CCD||Patent country and date linked||PND||pnd=USB200103||Format CC First character of the kind code followed by date|
|CT||Cited patent||CD CP||ct=DE19646559|
|CTF||Forward Citations||ctf 1||Forward citations of a search result set|
|CTB||Backward Citations||ctb 1||Backward citations of a search result set|
|EPD||Earliest Publication date||epd>199901|
|EPR||Earliest Priority date||epr>199901|
|FN||Family Number||fn=14007271||A number series devised by the database producer|
|IC||International Patent Classification (All/IPC 1-8)||IPC||IC=G01S15/89
|Use truncation symbol * after subgroup of IC and EC
|IC8||International Patent Classification (IPC 8 Only)||IPC8||IC8=H04Q7/20|
|Options within IPC 8:
IPC 8 Core level
|INE||Exact Inventor||ine=(JAMES WATT)|
|JCI||JP class F-Index||jci=G06F9/00/320/A|
|JCT||JP class F-Term||jct=2H091/FA14/X|
|JCF||JP class Facet||jcf=GBV|
|NC||Number of Countries in Family||ft=(wingless aircraft) and nc>5||Refining the amount of countries to be found in the search result set|
|NP||Number of Publications in Family||ft=(wingless aircraft) and np>5||Refining the amount of publications to be found in the search result set|
|NUS||Number of US Publications in Family||ft=(wingless aircraft) and nus>5||Refining the amount of publications for a specific country to be found in the search result set|
|NWO||Number of PCT Publications in Family||ft=(wingless aircraft) and nwo>5||Refining the amount of publications for a specific country to be found in the search result set|
|NEP||Number of EP Publications in Family||ft=(wingless aircraft) and nep>5||Refining the amount of publications for a specific country to be found in the search result set|
|NJP||Number of JP Publications in Family||ft=(wingless aircraft) and njp>5||Refining the amount of publications for a specific country to be found in the search result set|
|NCTF||Number of Forward Citations||ft=(wingless aircraft) and nctf>5||Forward citations of a search result set, refining the results to those which have the specified number of forward citations|
|NCTB||Number of Backward Citations||ft=(wingless aircraft) and nctb>5||Backward citations of a search result set, refining the results to those which have the specified number of backward citations|
|LPD||Latest Publication date||lpd<1980|
|LPR||Latest Priority date||lpr<1981|
|PAE||Exact Patent Assignee||pae=(GENERAL ELECTRIC)|
|AG||Patent Agent||ag=(NOTARO*)||It is not possible to distinguish various fields such as agent name, name of firm, address etc. All of the text within this field will be searched when using the AG command|
|PDCC||Publication date for a specific country||PDEP>1999||Format PD plus the country code of interest followed by the mathematical symbol and the date|
|SC||Super class (all classification systems)||SC=(G01S15/89 or 261/20)||Searching all classification-systems at once|
|UE||Update equivalent week||ue=0346||week format: YYWW|
|UP||Update new family week||up=0346||week format: YYWW|
|UE||Update equivalent week for a particular country||ue=0346US||week format: YYWWCC|
|UIC||Search families with the first IPC added in the specified update week||uic=0918||week format: YYWW|
|UPA||Search families with the first assignee added in the specified update week||upa=0918||week format: YYWW|
|UAB||Search families with the first English abstract added in the specified update week||uab=0918||week format: YYWW|
Tip (from PatBase User Guide): To search all updates for a specific year enter in the command line: up=YY* or ue=YY* (e.g. ue=03*).
According to a PatBase representative, the ue=YY* query may not be very useful for users, since the search results will be so large due to so many families getting updated each year with new equivalents. It is instead suggested that users utilize epd (earliest publication date) or epr (earliest priority date) in order to limit searches to particular years (e.g., epd>2005 results in all families with an earliest publication date of 2006 or later).
Qualifiers for Textual Data
The following qualifiers can be used to search in only selected text portions of patent documents. For example, a search beginning with the qualifier CLUS= would be conducted only in United States (US) patent claims. (The last two letters in the qualifying term CLCC can be any two-letter country code for which PatBase contains claim text.)
|CL||Claims||CL=(apple and pie)|
|CLCC||Claims for a specific country||CLUS=(fish and pie)||Claims for the US containing the words fish and pie|
|FTCC||Full-Text for specific country||FTUS=paper|
|TA||Title or Abstract||TA=crane%|
|TAC||Title, Abstract or Claims||TAC=(laser w2 dis?)|
|TI||Title||TI=(power and line)|
Field Qualifiers - Same publication textual data
According to the PatBase Manual, "for multiple keyword searches, it is possible to restrict searching to the same publications within families. This can be done by using the prefix 'S' for the relevant field qualifiers."
|SCL||Claims||SCL=(apple AND pie)|
|SCLCC||Claims for specific country||SCLUS=(wire AND cable)|
|SDSC||Description||SDSC=(green AND tea)|
|SFT||Full-text||SFT=( steam AND iron)|
|SFTCC||Full-text for specific country||SFTUS=(paper AND shredder)|
|STA||Title or Abstract||STA=(crane% AND jib)|
|STAC||Title, Abstract or Claims||STAC=(laser AND dis?)|
|SP||Same Publication within available Full-text||SP=(power AND line)|
Note: Use of the SP command to search within the same paragraph within the available Full-text is dependant on the data from source being indexed correctly.
Commands that can be used to check for field presence
The following commands may be used when it is necessary for a search to return family records only when a given data field actually contains (or does not contain) any information. For example, a search with AB=YES will retrieve only those family records with an abstract present in the family record.
|AB=YES||Will search for records containing an abstract|
|AB=NO||Will search for records not containing an abstract|
|IC=YES||Will search for records containing an Int. classification|
|IC=NO||Will search for records not containing an Int. classification|
|IC8=YES||Will search for records containing an Int. classification 8|
|IC8=NO||Will search for records not containing an Int. classification 8|
|EC=YES||Will search for records containing a European classification|
|EC=NO||Will search for records not containing a European classification|
|UC=YES||Will search for records containing a US classification|
|UC=NO||Will search for records not containing a US classification|
|LC=YES||Will search for records containing a LC classification|
|LC=NO||Will search for records not containing a LC classification|
|GC=YES||Will search for records containing a GC classification|
|GC=NO||Will search for records not containing a GC classification|
Note: Field presence searches within IPC 8-9 are also available, such as ICC=YES/NO and ICA=YES/NO.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 "PatBase Manual." PatBase website (restricted), http://www.patbase.com/Manual.pdf . Accessed November 2, 2011.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "PatBase user news." PatBase website (restricted), http://www.patbase.com/wnewinfo.asp?i=173. Accessed November 1, 2011.
- ↑ PatBase User Guide, https://www.patbase.com/help.asp?c=fields.asp. Accessed on December 11, 2009.
- ↑ Email correspondence with PatBase representative. Received November 30, 2011.
- ↑ "Search (command line) language." PatBase help guide (restricted), http://www.patbase.com/help.asp?c=dictionary.asp. Accessed November 23, 2011.