Patent Search in India
Indian patent office, governed by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, provides applicants with an advanced patent search system to search for pending patent applications and granted patents. Termed as InPASS (Indian Patent Advanced Search System), the Indian patent office database offers multiple tools to the users along with logic operations to use various combinations of patent search keywords.
InPASS provides users to use one or more patent search syntax, including a list of operators that are supported to facilitate advanced level patent search covering full text of published patent applications and granted patents. For example, Boolean operators allowed by the Indian patent office include AND, OR and NOT. In use, patent searches for two or more words in combination can be performed by using AND operator. Similarly, patent searches for either word of a combination of words can be performed by using OR operator. Additionally, NOT operator may be employed in a patent search combination to exclude one or more words from the patent search results.
In addition to the above, the Indian patent office database further provides provisions for using Wildcards including “?” and “*”. In use, the wildcard “?” can be used to search multiple keywords while performing a patent search. For example, using “Oxidi?e” will result in patent references using both “Oxidise” and “Oxidize”. Similarly, use of wildcard “*” will result in patent search results that contain various possible combinations. For example, using *Chem* will result in patent search results containing chemical, chemistry, chemotherapy etc.
How to Search Patents
Conducting a patent search of published patent applications and granted patents on the Indian Patent Office website by using the InPASS tool requires users to plan for a patent search strategy. Patent searchers need to be aware of the relevant patent search keywords, patent search strings, patent search strings in combination with logical operators, patent classifications, and other factors that may play a crucial role in performing patent searches.
A basic patent search requires much less effort as compared to an advanced patent search. Generally, advanced patent searches are comprehensive and the patent searcher or the patent analyst should have strong technical understanding of the domain of the technology pertaining to the innovation or invention for which the patent search is required.
Patent Searching Steps
- As a first step, the invention should be described by way of one or more relevant keywords that can assist in narrowing down patent search results. The keywords should be aptly selected to improve the quality of the patent searches.
- After finalizing patent search keywords, relevant patent classifications can be searched that cover the filed of technology describing the invention.
- Subsequently, a broad level patent search can be performed by using the relevant patent classifications.
- The results of broad patent search performed at above-mentioned step can be further narrowed down by using relevant patent search keywords as decided in first step.
- Subsequent narrowed down patent search results can be reviewed in detail to find the most relevant results.
- The above-mentioned steps can be repeated for alternate keywords, including synonyms and other common words used to describe the invention for which patent search is required.
- Consequently, the above-mentioned steps can be repeated for both published patent applications and granted patents to cover the entire Indian patent database.
While performing patent searches in Indian patent office database, the patent searchers and patent analysts can further screen the patent search results by using keywords across different fields. Multiple fields are available to the users to narrow down the search results, including, Title, Abstract, Claims, Description, Patent Application Number, Granted Patent Number, Applicant Name, Inventor Name, Inventor Address, Filing Office, PCT Application Number, Field of Invention, etc. In use, the field of invention refers to the international patent classification.
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