Here at Ambercite we often talk about the limiatoins of keyword searching – but in fact we are happy to acknowledge that both conventional and Cluster Searching can be helpful in finding relevant patents – as suggested by the image below
And most of our clients do in fact combine conventional and Cluster Searching.
The good thing is that when our clients do use both forms of searching, the results from one can help support the other. For example, the best patents found using conventional searching can provide the starting patents for a Cluster Searching.
Conversely, Cluster Searching can help traditional searching.
What do we mean by this? Lets say, hypothetically, we were asked to invalidate US7,448,703 for a Retaining and adjustment device for movable furniture parts
This is a relative simple concept, and you might expect the search terms to be straight forward.
Or maybe not? Lets think about this – what terms would you use to describe this invention? Furniture maybe? But would all similar patents use this term?
Anyway, while you are doing this mental exercise, we might show you the easy way, namely to plug this patent into Cluster Searching and run a search for the most predicted to be similar patents:
Which produces a whole long list of results – with a range of titles (only the top 12 patents are shown in this representative list)
From which, some more keywords become apparent:
And there are more if we were to keep on going.
There are a lot of very skilled patents searchers out there, and it is entirely possible that many of these searchers could come with all of the necessary keywords without using a short cut such as Cluster Searching to assist them. However I would suggest fewer of these searchers could repeatedly come with such a high quality list for every search they do – and in a few seconds.
And of course, you could use the results shown as part of your patent search process.
In our previous blog, we talked about Cluster Searching as being a form of insurance to conventional searching. We still believe that this is the case – with an added benefit being that you can strengthen your conventional searching, using the insight gained from spending a few seconds running a Cluster Search.