Patent Search Tutorial Keywords: Before You Start! home contact help

Before starting a patent search, the user must reach a point of concise understanding of the claimed invention. For this purpose, it is helpful to practice summarizing the invention to its most fundamental elements. This can be achieved by attempting to describe the claimed invention in a few sentences, with focus on the nature and novelty of the invention. As a rule of thumb, a desirable size of the summary would be a small paragraph that fits the back of a business card. This exercise “filters” the bulk of text used in the patent draft and reduces the invention to its most elementary keywords.

In order to identify relevant prior art, the user must be familiar with essential keywords (and their synonyms) used for describing the invention and formulating claims. The types of keywords will be discussed at a later point.

Once keywords are identified, you can start employing the keywords in the appropriate search fields. During your search alternatives and synonyms can also be identified as new keywords and then used to expand the pool of documents covered by the patent search.

A choice of concise keywords, that represent the fundamental elements of the invention, produces an effective patent search.

Types/use of keywords

  • Abstract Keywords
  • Specific Keywords
  • Specialized Keywords
  • Know Your Fellow Inventors In The Field!
  • Combine Keywords For Patent Search

Note that $ is a wild card in the US patent database search. < vibrat$ > will search for (vibration OR vibrations OR vibrating OR vibrate OR vibrates
OR vibratory). Unfortunately, $ does not work with quotes.

 Table of Contents

  1. Who is an Inventor
  2. Patents and Patent Classes
  3. Goals of Patent Search
  4. Benefits From Patent Search
  5. Keywords: Before You Start!
  6. How to Search
  7. Tips, Tricks, and Observations


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