Query Syntax Overview

This chapter contains instructions on how to construct valid queries using AcclaimIP syntax.  For a complete list of query field codes, please view the AcclaimIP Cheat Sheet.

You can create your own queries through the Quick Search tab, the Fielded Search tab, and the Query field in the Search Results window.  You'll find that the syntax is very easy to learn and use, and as you advance in your patent searching skills, you'll rely more and more on advanced syntax to create powerful nested queries.

This document explains the syntax you use to interact with the Query Parser in AcclaimIP.

Where to Enter Advanced Query Syntax

Advanced query syntax can be typed into two windows in AcclaimIP.  The Quick Search (1) tab in the Search window is a convenient place to type in syntax and run the search.  Additionally, once any search has been run, the Query (2) field of the Refine Search panel echoes back the search you just ran.  You can further modify the search string by adding advanced query syntax (or changing the options in the Search Options panel), or you can remove the echoed back search string and run a new search.

Field Codes

Field Codes

Advance query syntax uses field codes to identify which field you want to search.  AcclaimIP supports about 75 different field codes to query various types of data.  The data includes:

  • Text in various parts of the patent documents, such as the title, abstract, claims, and specification, can be queried.
  • Dates, such as priority, file, publication/issue/grant, expiration, and transaction dates, can all be queried.
  • Classifications, such as the CPC, IPC, and USPC codes, can all be queried using advanced syntax.
  • Meta Data, such as the number of forward citations, length of claim 1, pendency gaps, total words, and number of claims, can all be queried.
  • People and Entities, such as the assignees, inventors, examiners, and agents, can be queried using field codes.
  • Maintenance Events, such as dates, renewal tranches, and transactions, can be queried.
  • Addresses, such as inventor and assignee states, countries, and cities, can be queried using advanced syntax.

You can always find a field code reference guide, and the advanced query syntax used to search them, in the Cheat Sheet tab.  This will help you to understand the various advance query syntax that AcclaimIP uses.  This reference guide can be found in the application by clicking the Help (1) icon and viewing the Cheat Sheet (2) tab.  Hover your mouse over any field code and a tooltip (3) appears with instructions and examples of the field code's usage.  Click the Download PDF (4) button and a convenient one-page PDF with the most commonly used field codes can be downloaded or printed for quick reference.


Example of Advanced Syntax

Example of Advanced Syntax

Queries are broken into terms, operators, and field codes.  For example, the Query field in the above example has the following search:

TTL:(rear wheel steering) AND ANC:Honda AND ISD:(2013 OR 2014)

This query contains three clauses.  The first clause uses the TTL (document title) field code containing the terms (rear wheel steering).  The second uses the ANC (assignee normalized current) field code containing the term "Honda."  The third clause uses the ISD (Issue/Pub date) field code containing the terms (2013 OR 2014).  In the third case, the "OR" operator is used to include both years.  All three clauses are joined by "AND" operators.

The syntax reads almost like regular English and will become second nature as you practice it.


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