How to Develop a Query: Patent & Prior Art Search Tips

InnovationQ Tips, Patent Search

Quick tips for constructing queries in’s patent search software, InnovationQ and InnovationQ Plus

Get great patent and prior art search results without a great effort. Here is what you can do…

Save time building your search

  • Copy/paste from an existing piece of prior art; try the abstract or a single embodiment
  • Copy/paste a document number
  • Use the available filters, from dates to ID codes, and more—even combine natural language and Boolean entries
  • Conduct a single query search for both patent and non-patent literature (NPL)

Streamline the search process

  1. Create a project so you can share and continue later: save portfolios, queries, terms, and exports
  2. Set your defaults to automatically search specific patent and NPL collections
  3. Set your preferences to remove duplicate results
  4. Add a relevance cutoff filter to limit your results
  5. Use the same query for patent and NPL searches

Receive the most relevant results

InnovationQ and InnovationQ Plus are semantic search tools, which means you search by main concept text and modifiers. Here’s how to use the semantic search engine to produce the most relevant results:

  • Include 6-12 specific words in your query; the less broad, the better
  • Apply Boolean filters
  • Use the relevance curve and star ratings to evaluate and refine your search
  • Add concept modifiers to fine-tune your search: “more like” and “less like” a current result
  • Use concept modifiers to sort for special features
  • Set your scope using a single embodiment

Looking for more help with your patent and prior art searches? Watch our full webinar on How to Develop a Query.