Proximity Searching

Proximity searching is a basic technique you need to learn to find one search term within a certain number of words of another search term.  

Basic Syntax

There are two ways of doing a proximity search.

1. Using the tilde

The first way of doing a proximity search is to put your terms in quotation marks, then add the tilde ( ~ ) character, then the maximum number of words allowed between the two or more terms you want to search.

"Toilet Seat"~3  -->  Finds the terms "Toilet" and "Seat" within three words of each other.

"Toilet Seat Cover"~5  -->  Finds the terms "toilet" and "seat" within five words of each other, and "Seat" and "Cover" also within five words of each other.

2. Using NEAR

The second way of doing a proximity search is to separate your terms by NEAR, then the maximum number of words between the two or more terms you want to search.

Toilet NEAR3 Seat  -->  Finds the terms "toilet" and "seat" within three words of each other.

("Toilet Seat") NEAR5 Cover  -->  Finds the string "Toilet Seat" within five words of the term "Cover."

In either proximity search, you can use as large or as small a number as you want for the maximum number of words between the search terms.  As a general rule, though, use 2 to 4 to find the terms within the same phrase, 7 to 15 to find them in the same sentence, and 15 to about 25 to find the terms in the same paragraph or claim.  Of course, remember that the distances are cumulative.  A search with six terms within five words of each other (e.g., "one two three four five six"~5) can span up to thirty words.

Proximity Searching Video

The following video takes you through some examples of searching using the proximity operator.

NOTE: This is a video based on an older version of AcclaimIP. The layout is going to look a little different to you, but the ideas are still the same. Therefore, we are leaving it here for the time being as it gives you a really good sense of what you can do and how you can search using AcclaimIP. Just be aware that the layout presented in the video and your layout is going to be a bit different.

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