Report:TotalPatent/Search Interface/The Search Forms/Advanced Search
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The Advanced Search Form
As an alternative to the Guided Search form, the Advanced Search form is available. The user can switch between the two at any time by clicking the "Guided Search" or "Advanced Search" tabs at the top of the form. The Advanced Search form adds some additional options and functionality to what is present in the Guided Search form.
Below the main command line form, the Advanced Search includes a check box labeled "Display hit count only." When this is checked, TotalPatent will initially only show the returned hit count for a given query, with the options to then view the list of results, file the list of results, or edit the search. Below this option are two additional options which the user can turn on or off via check box, including the option to also search for terms in English machine translations and the option to remove family member duplicates from the search results.
Beneath the "Search Options" section and the publication date range drop down menu, The Advanced Search form features a section labeled "Restrictions." Within this section the user can add limiting fields connected by the AND operator. See the screenshot below:
At the bottom of the Advanced Search form, the user can select which authorities to search and also specify whether to search for “Granted" patents, “Application,” or “All Kinds” (the "Authorities" and "Document Kinds" sections both include collapsible selection lists). Here on the Advanced Search form, the user also can choose to save the search (See the Saving Results section for more information). At the very bottom of the Advanced Search form, the user can specify which fields he or she would like to appear in the results.
A unique and potentially useful feature on the search form page is the Syntax Converter. This tool allows the user to convert search queries from MicroPatent PatentWeb or Delphion syntax into TotalPatent syntax. The Syntax Converter option is located beside the main search form.
Regardless of whether the Guided Search or Advanced Search form is displayed, to the right of the search form are three quick search boxes: Publication Number Search, Look Up Assignee or Inventor, and Find Subsidiary Companies. There are also links below the quick search boxes to external sites for the IPC, US Class, ECLA, JP Class, and FI/F-term classification systems, as well as a ‘How do I…?’ help box.
The Publication Number Search has two tabs, and the first "Enter a List" tab allows the user to enter between 1 and 500 publication numbers and select the view output (results list, full text, family report, or PDF).
The "Upload a List" tab allows users to import 1-500 publication numbers. See the section Import and Export Functions for more information on this feature.
The Look Up Assignee or Inventor form allows users to search for variations of an assignee or inventor name, and results are displayed below the search form ten names at a time (navigate to the previous/next set of names with the blue arrow buttons). Select the check boxes beside the relevant names to add them to the query in the command line form.
The Subsidiary Company search appears to draw data from the actual patent database as well as from DCA corporate data. It returns an intermediate result with the user’s top three hits, then after the correct one is selected, displays the corporate tree. The screenshots below show an example of the Subsidiary Company search using TruGreenChemLawn as an example.
Step 1: The user enters the company name of interest (shown above).
Step 2: The system displays a list of company names that potentially correspond to the company name of interest (shown above).
Step 3: After the user selects the most desirable match, the system displays the corporate tree data on file for that company name (shown above).
There doesn’t seem to be a very significant difference between the "Guided Search" form and the "Advanced Search" forms. The Advanced Form has some added functionality and the Guided Search might be slightly more accessible to an inexperienced searcher. However, it seems that LexisNexis could do away with the "Guided Search" form and it wouldn’t take much away from TotalPatent. The Syntax Converter and the advanced Publication Date searching are useful and welcome features not seen in many of TotalPatent’s competitors. Also, the neatly separated "Major Full Text," "Other Full Text," and "Bibliographic Only" authority sections will be appreciated by many users.