Can you trust your pilot? Can you trust your patent search engine? Case study on recently examined PCT patent

Cluster Searching is a patent search tool with strong value proposition for a range of users, including patent searchers, analysts, owners, managers – and patent examiners.

For all of these searchers, we promote Cluster Searching not only as a primary search tool, but also as a second opinion engine. Essentially we suggest that users run the best prior art they have found through Cluster Searching to see what else they can find.

This applies equally to patent examiners, and there are many successful case studies. As one case study, consider WO2015052711, filed by Elbit Systems Limited of Israel for a Method and system for detecting pilot incompetence based on vital signs and head mounted sensors.

A system for monitoring a pilot’s health is provided herein. The system may include: a head mounted device mountable to a head of a pilot; at least one vital signs sensor couplable to a body portion of said pilot and configured to obtain vital signs data associated with said pilot.


This patent application has been examined by the PCT examining authourit, and two prior art documents cited. These are:

  • US8289172 Method and system of aircraft pilot assessment and for remedial action upon pilot impairment
  • US20120194420  Ar glasses with event triggered user action control of ar eyepiece facility

Both of these patents are relevant, but what else can find?

One very simple means of asking this question is to enter these patents numbers into Cluster Searching. In this case we will request patents filed prior to the filing date for the PCT patent of October 2014,

The resulting query looks like this:



As you can see, this is a very simple query.

The top ranked results look like this:



WO2015052711_Search_Results.gifThe PCT patent is shown on the list, in 4th position. But what about the top two patents listed?

The first of these, is US20060220883, Method and system of aircraft pilot assessment. This is filed by the same applicant as the first citation, and discloses a very similar invention

A method and system are disclosed for assessing the capability of a first person to operate a machine, such as an aircraft or other transport vehicle. 

The second of these is US6575902, for a Vigilance monitoring system. This discloses: 

The apparatus includes means (1 to 11) for monitoring one or more physiological variables such as EEG, EMG and EOG signals associated with the subject. 

The head tilt device may be adapted to provide a signal or data which alters in accordance with the position of the driver’s head. Alternatively a radio tracking device may determine and track a subject’s head movements.

A typical application may include monitoring the driver of a vehicle or pilot of an aircraft,

a helmet structure worn by said subject;

As you can see, this patent is: 

  • Highly relevant to the WO patent
  • Not cited in the search report for the WO patent
  • Easily discoverable from the patents that were cited in the PCT search report using Cluster Searching – this was the second highest ranked patent found.

This helps confirm the value proposition of Cluster Searching – it can extend any existing patent search and discover new patents, and in a matter of seconds in this case. We think, that among other things, that this makes Cluster Searching ideal for patent examiners looking to confirm their list of cited patents.


Want to try the Cluster Searching ‘Second Opinion engine’ 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. We also offer free search reports to patent litigators

After the trial has finished, Cluster Searching is available to companies, organisations and individuals at a very competitive annual subscription – we are happy to discuss this in person.


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