Efficient situation specific and adaptive search strategies: Training material for new patent searchers
A search for prior art should end with the retrieval of the best available prior art documents and, ideally, it should be performed in the shortest time possible. Optimizing search efficiency is key to the work of a searcher.When confronting the claims for the first time, the initial criteria for searching their subject-matter must be selected, involving not just the technical tools or data bases which will be the most appropriate, but also the precise scope of the search: The where and what to search.Then, the searcher must select an initial strategy for carrying out the search in, what would seem, the most efficient manner. The main focus of the search has to be established: The how to search.And once the search starts, the initial main focus must be continuously revised and adapted in an iterative process in view of the intermediate search results obtained and, if necessary, all the previous criteria and strategies should be changed on the go, steering the search toward the best prior art in the shortest time possible.EPO examiners are trained to optimize the search using the above mentioned closed-loop iterative approach, with a continuous monitoring of the quality of the search results and a critical review of the initial search criteria.
► Optimizing patent search efficiency. ► Linear search versus adaptive search strategies. ► Closed-loop iterative and interactive search process recommended. ► Particularly valuable as a training methodology for patent examiners.
Journal: World Patent Information - Volume 34, Issue 1, March 2012, Pages 54–61