Relevancy and Concept Searches with Patentics

[tweetmeme source=”Intellogist” only_single=false]  Patentics is an intriguing patent search platform with a lot of interesting features and a few major drawbacks.  The search interface is available in both English and Chinese, and non-registered users can perform most basic search functions for free, although full-text patent views, patent analysis functions, and permanently saving search histories and projects are reserved for registered users.  The most impressive feature of Patentics is the ability to re-rank search results according to relevancy in relation to a specific patent document or index word.  If a searcher finds a particularly useful patent within a list of results, this function can help them locate similar patent documents within the results.  Users can also browse through an index of concepts related to a specific keyword, which can help the user expand the query.  The concept index offers searchers an alternative to looking in a thesaurus for synonyms; now the searcher can check mark all terms that relate to the concept and automatically create a broad query that will retrieve more relevant documents.  One major issue exists for this search site, though: it seems impossible to register for an account on the English-language interface.

Read on the learn about the relevancy and concept search features of Patentics, as well as how to how to register for the site!

Relevancy Ranking Functions

On the Patentics search platform, a relevancy ranking is given beside each search result (0-100%).   The relevancy ranking applies to the current search query, but users can alter the query by selecting to rank the relevancy according to a specific patent document or keyword.   If the user selects the title of a search result, a new window will automatically pop up beneath the result information.  Users can select to view a variety of information about the patent document by selecting tabs within the window (Abstract, Main Claim, Biblio, Ref, Class, Figure, Index, Related, Patentability, Infringement, Family, Info), and a row of icons beside the tabs allow the user to rank or de-rank search results according to their relevance to that patent document.

Rank search results according to their relevance to a specific patent.

After choosing the “Re-rank” option for that particular patent document, a new window will appear beneath the original search results, with a new search term added to the query (R/[patent #]).   “R” is the field code for “ranking,” according to the “QuickFields” table of searchable fields in Patentics.  The search results in this new window will be ranked according to relevance to that particular patent document, with the original patent document at the top of the new search results.  The “De-rank” icon (third icon to the left) will reverse the “Re-rank” list, so results least relevant to that patent document are at the top of the results list.

After conducting the primary search, a side menu will list related concepts, organizations, and search history.  Users can choose to re-rank search results according to their relevance to a particular related concept by selecting the “Re-rank” icon beside the concept keyword.  The re-ranked list will appear in a new window below the original search results.

Re-rank search results according to relevancy to a specific keyword.

Related Concepts

Related concepts are displayed in the side menu after conducting the initial search, but users can also search through an index of related concepts.  Under the search form, the user selects the “Query Expansion” option and enters a keyword into the first search form.  After entering the keyword, the user selects Enter to automatically generate a list of related concept terms and hyponyms.  The user can expand each section of the list by selecting the (+) icon, and each term has a small check box beside it that the user can select.  After selecting all relevant related concepts and hyponyms,  users can generate new queries by selecting one of the icons beside the search form:

  • Checked words AND Search – (B/TermA and B/TermB and B/TermC)
  • Checked words OR Search – (B/TermA or B/TermB or B/TermC)
  • Checked words Concept Search – C/”TermA, TermB, TermC”
A concept search can also be conducted with related search terms listed in the side menu, according to the Patentics help materials.  No description is given in the help materials about the algorithms or criteria which generate the results for concept searches.

View related keywords and add related keywords to a concept search.


The main difficulty I encountered with Patentics was an inability to create an account through the English interface.  If an account is needed to use a certain feature, then the window pictured below will pop up and prompt the user to create an account.  Unfortunately, in the English version of this window, the “Create an account now” link doesn’t work.

The "Create an account now" link doesn't function on the English-language version of the site.

The only way I could find to create an account on Patentics was to follow these steps:

1. Select the “Chinese” version of the interface in the upper right corner of the page.

2. Select the  登录 (Login) option to the right of the language selection option.

3. A Chinese-language version of the log-in page will pop up.  Choose the link directly below the log-in form.

4.  DON’T translate the sign-up form using Google Translate.  You won’t be able to select the “Register” button if the text is translated to English, at least in a Google  Chrome browser.

5. Enter a user ID, name, password, confirm password, email address, verification code, and select both check boxes (user-space application documents and agreement to Terms of Use).

6. Select the “Register” button, and if your registration form is filled out successfully, you  should recieve a Chinese-language confirmation email.

7. Select the link in the email.  Now you can sign on through the English language interface.

For English-language users, creating an account on Patentics becomes rather complicated.  The free account does include some fantastic analysis features, though, which we’ll look at in another post.

Have you used Patentics?  Do you know of an easier way for English-language users to create an account?  Any tips on other interesting system features not covered in this post?  Let us know in the comments!

Patent Searches from Landon IP

This post was contributed by Joelle Mornini. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company Landon IP, a major provider of patent searches, trademark searches, technical translations, and information retrieval services.


3 Responses

  1. Do you happen to know what jurisdictions the site covers? The few numbers I can see in your images are US.

  2. The system gives the user the option to search:
    – US patents and/or applications
    – EP Documents
    – WO Documents (PCT)
    – World Abstracts (I’m guessing this is from Espacenet’s Worldwide Database)
    – CN Patents
    – References
    – User Documents

  3. Patentics has really been great so far. Thank you very much for posting this info on its background and how important it is.

    My Last Post: Keyword Map Pro

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