By: Nasreen Bakht Brady, Client Engagement Director and Devin Salmon, Patent Analyst, IP.com
Like any patent searching, semantic searching is often iterative. Enter a query, do a little quick review or view some of the temperature checks in InnovationQ (such as the Concept Term Heat Map) to gauge whether you’re on the right track or not, and adjust the query accordingly. But sometimes, your query has returned good results but needs a bit of fine tuning to find what you’re really looking for. That’s where concept modifiers can be used to great effect. In a recent post, A Shift in Mindset – From Whittling to Eureka!, we talked about the importance of balancing efficiency and quality in patent searching. Concept modifiers can be the key to find what you’re looking for faster.
Concept modifiers are used to train the semantic engine to look for prior art “more like this” or “less like this.” In InnovationQ, the “this” can be keywords, concepts, phrases, an entire document, or even areas of the semantic Map. You may enter a main concept into your query, which includes a number of concepts or features, but you can add a concept modifier to tell the engine what the most important feature to weigh. You may swap concept modifiers from one feature to another, as you examine different aspects of an invention.
Concept Modifiers do not necessarily narrow your search results. Instead, they influence the semantic retrieval to up-weight or down-weight a concept(s). Using a concept modifier may increase or decrease the size of your result set, but it will bubble the most relevant documents to the top of the list.
Here’s how to add keywords, concepts or phrases as a concept modifier to your query in InnovationQ:
- After you’ve entered your main concept, click the plus sign next to the query box
- Enter the concept or feature that is most important
- Click Apply
To use an entire document as a concept modifier, choose “More Like This” or “Less Like This” from the Document Actions menu.
Try concept modifiers in your next semantic search in InnovationQ to help find important prior art faster.