Custom Fields in the Search Result Window
Just like other data fields, custom fields can be faceted filters. Remember, a filter lets you refine your search by some data element; the facets are the actual counts within a filter.
In this example, I created a rating system and tagged about 5000 of Google's patents with rankings. These data were randomly generated for demonstration purposes and do not represent real opinions on the patents displayed.
One of the ultimate goals of most patenting organizations is to build a ever-growing knowledgebase that tells users which patents are major inventions, which are incremental improvements and even which are no good at all and slated for abandonment. The example here uses a simple 4 dimensional rating system including the following criteria.
- Current Use – Is the invention being used in products today?
- Detectability – Can use be economically proven in infringing devices?
- Alternatives – Are there other methods to achieve the same result as the patented invention?
- Prior Art Risk – What is the likelihood the patent could stand up to extensive prior art search?
This simple system is a good start for your own rating system. While this is a fairly simple one, simple is often better. I advise IP managers to develop the simplest possible rating system that will meet your needs. Overly complex rating systems, while well intentioned and better in theory, virtually always fail due to their complexity.
Custom Fields in the Data Columns
In the screen snap above, you can see some of the custom fields I selected in Preferences>Search Results>Custom Fields. The columns are colored orange to give you a visual signal that this is custom data. The filters and facets are also orange to tie the custom fields elements together.
I rated about 5000 patents across several dimensions, scoring them from 1 to 5 (5 being the positive state because bigger is always better). I also tagged patents with a category which is part of my home-grown taxonomy I use when managing portfolios.
Displaying Custom Filters & Facets
Even if custom fields are defined, you might not see the facets in the Refine Panel.
Custom filters/facets (1) must first be invoked (displayed) in the Refine panel by clicking the "Custom Facets" button (2) and checking which facets you want to display.
There is no need to set Preferences for custom facets. The most recent selection of facets will become your new default setting, and the facets will appear on all subsequent searches.
Using Custom Facets & Filters
Click a filter and the facets in the filter will be displayed. Check the facets you want to apply to the filter.
Check the Facets you want to apply (1), and they will appear in the "Criteria" field set (2). The Update Search button will activate. Click the Update Search button to apply the new filters.
The field type used in this example is an "Integer Select" field where the the custom field administrator (a person on your team) defined the range being 1 to 5 and provided short definitions for each ranking. For example, see how the number 5 corresponds to the description "Literature search could prove infringement."
When the filter is applied, the "Update Search" button (1) will dim. The search result renders with the custom filter applied.
All other filters and facets update to reflect the new filtered set.
Adding Custom Field Columns
To add a custom field column to the search result window, go to Preferences and drag the custom field from the "Available" (1) set to the "Selected" set. Drag and drop them so they appear in the order you want to see them in the Selected side.
The next search you execute will display the column you selected to the right of the standard data columns you chose. The background of the columns will be a light-orange color so you can easily identify the data as being from your custom fields.