After you create a patent search project, you can start a patent search. There are a number of methods for searching patents, including using content from an existing patent, using a description of an invention, or by importing one or more patents.

Note: You must have a Relativity Patents workspace with the appropriate group and user permissions to perform patent searches. Contact the Relativity Patents support team for questions or requests.

This page contains the following information:

Starting a search

To start a new search:

  1. From your search project's workspace, click Start Here.
  2. Global Search Tab

    The Search modal opens. Select from the search options to continue.

    Search Modal

    • Search by Patent—use this option to search using content from an existing patent, such as a patent number.
    • Search by Concept—use this option to search by invention description for running conceptual searches.
    • Add a Filter—use this option to filter search results by keywords, dates, country, status, assignee, agent, applicant, and inventor.
    • Import Patents—use this option to import one or more existing patents into your List view.

Search by patent

Use this option to search by entering content from an existing patent. The target patent is often the patent asserted in a case. You can choose to show or hide the target patent in your search results. Be sure to have a target patent number before continuing.

  1. From the Search modal, select Search by Patent.
  2. Enter an existing patent number in the Patent Number text box.
  3. Enter Target Patent Number

    Relativity searches the patent, and then populates the Select Section drop-down menu with the sections it identified.

  4. Select a section from the Select Section drop-down menu.
    1. If the selected section has elements defined, a new drop-down menu appears with the prompt, Select Element. Here, you can select an element to narrow the search scope further. The Name and Concept Text fields populate automatically.
    2. Enter Target Patent Number

  5. Choose whether to hide or show the target patent in the search results. Clearing the Target patent checkbox shows the target patent in the search results, while keeping the box checked hides the patent from the results.

  6. Target Patent Checkbox

  7. (Optional) Click the Highlight Color icon to change the background color of highlighted text.

    Select Highlight Color

  8. Click Save.
  9. Relativity searches the dataset and returns relevant patents to the List view. The List view also displays a column of relevancy scores for each patent, based on the target patent. From here, you can review and highlight content, view drawings, and create snippets for quick access and claim charts.

    Global Search Results

Search by concept

Use this option to search using a description of the invention. Relativity assigns a score to search results that you can use to determine which patents are the most relevant to your needs.

Adding concepts

You can add as many concepts as needed. After adding a concept, a new column appears in the List view displaying the concept's relevancy score for each patent.

Add Concept

To add a concept:

  1. Click Start Here to open the Search modal. Select Search by Concept.
    The Add Concept modal window opens.
  2. Enter a Name.
  3. Enter the Concept Text.
  4. Select a Highlight Color.
    After saving the concept, the List view automatically updates with the new concept column and scoring.
  5. Click Save.

Editing concepts

After you edit a concept, the List view updates with a new relevancy score. To edit a concept:

Edit a concept

  1. Click the Edit icon.
    The Add Concept modal window opens.

  2. Edit the Name and Concept Text fields.

  3. Click Save.
    After saving the concept, the List view automatically updates with the new concept column and scoring.

Editing the highlight color from the concept card

To edit the highlight color directly from the concept or section card, click the Highlight icon.

Edit the Highlight Color from the Concept Card

Deleting concepts

To delete a concept, click the Delete icon.

Delete a concept

Hiding concepts without deleting

Use the Show in results icon to toggle concepts on and off in the List view. If you hide the concept, the associated snippets are removed and the highlights are not visible in the Patent Viewer. When hidden, the concept card is still visible, but greyed out. To show the concept, click the Show in results icon once again.

Show in Results Icon

Add a filter

Use this option to search by keyword or metadata.

To apply a filter:

  1. Click Start Here to open the search modal. Click Add Filter.
  2. Select a filter from the list of filter options. Expand one of the filter sections below for details on how to apply a specific filter.
  3. Select Field to Apply Filter

    • Keyword—enter terms or phrases. You can use search operators to further define your search scope.
    • Filing Date, Priority Date, Publication Date—filter by dates using before, after, and on operators.
    • Country—the originating country of the patent.
    • Status—the current status of the patent application.
    • Assignee—the entity that has the rights to the patent.
    • Agent—a person who assists inventors and attorneys with preparing and filing patent applications.
    • Applicant—the legal owner of a patent application or patent.
    • Inventor—a person or entity who contributes to the claims of an invention; the person or entity conceiving the invention.
  4. Add additional filters using the steps above.
    Relativity separates filters with the AND operator by default. Click AND to change it to the OR operator. Click OR to change it back to AND.
  5. Swap Operators On Filters

  6. Click Apply Filter.
    The List view results update according to your filter settings.

    Apply Filter

Import patents

Use this option to add one or more patents to your list.

To import patents:

  1. From the Search modal, click Import Patents.
    The Import Patents modal opens.
  2. Enter one or more patent numbers into the search text box and then press <ENTER>.
    Relativity searches for the patent numbers and if valid, displays them in the patent number list pane.
  3. Importing Patents

  4. Click Save.
  5. The patents are now visible in the List view. From here, you can apply keywords searches and filters to further define your search results. To apply filters to your search results, including keyword searches, see Add a Filter.

    Imported Patents in the List View

Edit the imported patents list

  1. To edit the imported patents list, click the Edit icon.
  2. Edit Imported Patents Icon

  3. To exclude a patent from the List view, click the patent number. A notice appears at the bottom of the modal window indicating the patent will be excluded after saving. To include a patent, click the patent number once again. You can easily tell which patents are included as they have a check next to the patent number.
  4. Exclude Imported Patents

  5. Click Save to commit your changes.

Delete imported patents

  1. To delete the imported patents list, click the Delete icon. This action removes all the imported patents in this list and cannot be undone.
  2. Delete Imported Patents Icon

  3. Click Yes on the confirmation message.