I think all of us would admit that none of us are 100% perfect patent searchers. For this eason it would make sense to get a second opinion where we could, especially where a second opinion takes mere seconds to obtain.
As one example, consider patent application WO2014051899, filed by Tesla for a Sunroof control interface., and claiming a method of controlling sunroof via a graphical user interface.
1. A method of positioning a sunroof, the method comprising the steps of:
providing a graphical user interface (GUI) within a vehicle passenger compartment of a vehicle;
displaying a sunroof control interface on said GUI, …
accepting a user selection of a selected sunroof position via said sunroof control interface; and
positioning said sunroof to a sunroof position corresponding to said selected sunroof position, …..
This was filed with five published citations in the search report. But are there more potential prior art patents that could be provided in a second opinion
Running such a query in Cluster Searching can be very easy. In this case we have combined the patent number along with its known prior art, which is easily found on many websites includes Google Patent
And within seconds produce a list of direct (known citations) and indirect (not directly connected, but similar) prior art
The first of these patents is US8239087, Method of operating a vehicle accessory, which discloses the use of touchscreens to control vehicle accesories
Including for a sunroof:
For example, if the accessory 32 is defined to include a power sunroof, the user may select the sunroof by touching the sunroof shown on the virtual image of the vehicle 20
This all very simple isn’t it? And by design – as confirmed by our users:
Thank you. I used your product this morning. It truly does simplify the process. Lori Frank, patent attorney, Minneapolis
In fact this is so simple that some users have trouble understanding how it can work so easily. However it does work thanks to some sophisticated algorithsm that underly this, and it can find patents missed due to the limitations of keywords. And Cluster Searching should not be confused with conventional citation searching, which does not rank patents for similarity the way the Cluster Searching does, or find indirectly connected patents.
What if there are no published prior art citations?
In this situation users can run a conventional patent search, find some relevant patents, and use these as the basis for a search.
Want to try this for yourself?
Cluster Searching is a very fast and easy to use web application. Free demonstrations and confidential trials are available to qualified applicants – please contact us to arrange a short demonstration and trial.