Since its release in 2015 Ambercite’s Cluster Searching tool has picked up a wide range of users around the world who are impressed by its ability to quickly find patents missed by conventional searching processes.
These users have also provided some very valuable feedback to Ambercite, and part of this feedback is that these users sometimes end up seeing patents they have already seen in previous searches. This can slow down the reviewing of the results that Cluster Searching provides, and can be inefficient.
It is of course impossible to know what patents that our users have already seen – but they will probably know this themselves. For this reason Ambercite has just upgraded Cluster Searching with a new feature that allows users to ignore previously seen results from the results that Cluster Searching shows. This operates through a second data entry box, shown below.
Patent numbers pasted into this box are ignored in our display of similar patents. It is possible to add up to 2000 patents into this box, and sometimes more in some cases.
Imagine you were asked to run a patentability search for a mirror for a bicycle helmet.
In this case we have no starting patents, but a keyword search in a more traditional patent search system for ((bicycle near helmet) and mirror) brought up 25 results. We reviewed these results, and found that the 13 of these patents were relevant to the invention. The other 12 were not relevant.
But have we missed any relevant patents? What else would Cluster Searching show us?
This is an easy question to answer. We simply enter the previously found but irrelevant patents into the ‘ignore’ box, and enter the five patents that we like into the normal data entry box. In this case we request the 50 most similar patents. The resulting query looks like this.
The results look like this.
By definition, we have seen none of these patents before. These for example, include US5432960, filed for a Helmet mirror attachment, and found in 3rd place on our ranked list of results.
Yet this patent was missed by the first patent search. Why? This particular query was looking for a combination of bicycle near helmet and mirror, but in the patent the words helmet and bicycle were not found closely together. OK this reflects a flawed search strategy (in this very simple case study), but no search strategy is perfect, no matter how sophisticated – in the absence of hindsight that is.
In contrast Cluster Searching relies on the expertise and search strategies of all of the search reports conducted by the examiners in the field (as expressed by citation opinions) – so you are not reliant on just one search strategy. This greatly increases the chance of finding the patents you are looking for.
This is a perfect illustration of the value of Cluster Searching – which has now been enhanced by the ability to ignore previously found results.
Want to try Cluster Searching 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. You may be surprised (and impressed) by just how much time and money you may save.