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 Help & Guides button found in several places in AcclaimIP, including the bottom left of the Search window, and at the top of the Refine Search panel.

You can create your own queries in multiple places, including through the Quick Search tab, the Fielded Search tab, the Query Builder tab, the Search History 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

The Quick Search tab

If you know the AcclaimIP field codes well, or have a quick search (hence the name) you want to run, 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.

The Query Builder

Both beginner and experienced searches can get a lot of benefit out of running a search in the Query Builder tab. Not only does this search tab allow you to use the system to find field codes by typing what you are looking for in the Field column (e.g., start typing "title" and you can then select from TTL for title, TA for title and abstract, etc.), but with this tab, the system helps you build out very complicated strings with multiple lines and groupings without you having to remember all the parentheses.

Notice above that typing "title" in the Field column, the different ways that AcclaimIP can search the title pops up for you to choose (options begin to appear as soon as you start typing). You can also simply type the field code first, if you prefer.

The Value column is where you type your search terms. Here, we are looking for the search term "electric" with either the term "vehicle*" or the term "car." Notice the asterisk on the end of vehicle. This is a wildcard to make sure we don't miss vehicle, vehicles, etc. You can use wildcards, boolean operators, etc. in this field, just like in any other query box.

The additional features of the Query Builder allow you to build out very complex queries:

1) The hamburger icon allows you to move the row around in the query

2) The minus icon ( - ) allows you to delete a single row

3) The "Add new clause" and "Add new group" allow you to build out a larger search and have the system keep track of the parentheses (to create a separation of clauses and groupings). It's possible to build up to four groups deep.

4) The dropdown menus allow you to select the boolean operator that you want for each clause and/or group.

5) The Clear button allows you to completely clear the form and return the Query Builder to its original state. This clears every single row.

Field Code Help Guide

Advance query syntax uses field codes to identify which field you want to search.  AcclaimIP supports hundreds of 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.
  • Legal Events, such as legal events or EP validated states.
  • Rejections, such as which of your US applications were used by USPTO examiners in a 102 rejection.

You can always find a searchable field code guide by clicking the Help & Guides (1). Inside the Help, you can click on an individual Field Code (2) to see more information about the field code, syntax examples, etc. This will help you to understand the various advance query syntax that AcclaimIP uses and how to use them. You can scroll through the entire list, but it's much easier to use the Search (3) to help you find what you want. This works just like the field column in the Query Builder tab. All three columns in the field code guide are searched using this one Search field (3).  Note that this Help guide is more than just for the field codes. For example, clicking on the Syntax Instructions (4) tab walks you through syntax instructions, wild cards, proximity operators (e.g., NEAR and ADJ), etc. You can also click the Download PDF (5) button and a convenient one-page PDF with the many commonly used field codes can be downloaded or printed for quick reference.

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 use AcclaimIP.

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