Biomedical Engineering Reference
Fig. 3.8 An example of catchwords index
3.4.3 How to Perform a Patent Search
The purpose of a prior art search is to find whether the essential technical features
of an invention are already described in some other document (patent or scientific
paper); the examiner needs to obtain not the match of words (that is, whether all
the keywords used are found in a document) but of concepts, which are better
expressed through codes or classification symbols. 26
Patent searches can be performed either by a series of terms that characterize
the invention under examination or by classification symbols, or a combination of
both the above-mentioned categories.
Usually a search is the result of the combination of independent mechanisms
(text and classification or text and chemical formulas) [ 1 ].
The most intuitive way to conduct a search is certainly the use of a set of
But first the examiner needs to understand the invention in all its aspects by
identifying the essential technical characteristics to look for, the elements that rep-
resent the core of the invention [ 26 ].
26 Classification reduces dependence on the language of the original document.