AOP Community Resources

Search Strategy

The Search Strategy underpins the entire research project.  It is important to construct a plan that allows you to cover all your bases and focus on the references that will give you the best chance of winning.  However, there are a lot of things to consider in your search.  Research involves a lot more than just searching a few keywords.

A patent search can be visualized as a funnel; it starts broad at the top and narrows the focus until you reach the most closely-related reference.  Along the way, there are several ways to enhance your search, including using the right tools, focusing on the right type of literature, and re-configuring your strategy if you hit a dead end.  Throughout your search, remember the unique elements listed in the Study, as they will guide you to the highest-quality references.

Search Strategy Overview

A successful search strategy takes your background knowledge of the technology and applies it to the databases and resources available all around the world.

Research Process

To dive deeper into the research process, our team developed the following layout as the most efficient and effective way to conduct a prior art search. This is based on feedback from our top Researchers, as well as our own experiences.

Resources & Databases

The resources used in your search will directly relate to and depend on several other aspects of the Study such as the Study technology, type of research, type of literature, stage of the Study, and your level of experience.

Dead Ends

Hitting a dead end may mean that you have already exhausted all the options within a database, industry, or technology. The best way to fix this issue is to change or refresh your search strategy.

Evaluating References

Reviewing your references allows you to identify those that give you the best chance of winning.