Better Prior Art Searches even if You are Not a Patent Database Search expert: use my B/F Search Widget.


Do you do prior art searches only every now and then? And if you do a prior art search, it must be good and fast?

I am a good example of such a person. I don´t have enough time for prior art searches but I am expecting super-high quality.

Quick Prior Art Searches without Learning Curve

And I frequently run into the following problem: I want a quick prior art search done but I do not want to re-learn how to use professional search tools, like PatBase, PatSnap, Thomson Innovation,, TotalPatent, or others.

Also cost-wise, purchasing such a commercial software package is quite an engagement that is only justified if you do prior art searches very frequently.

Another problem is that prior art searches have an inherent high degree of uncertainty, among others because patent databases are never 100% complete, whatever the commercial databases providers promise you. So why spend the extra money on this?

Free Online Patent Databases are Good

Therefore I have learned to live with the freely available patent databases on the Internet.

I have programmed my own tool, which is similar to a search macro that is used - among others - at the European Patent Office.

Check out my B/F Search widget on my personal website if you want to find out how this works

Why “B/F” Search?

We call it B/F Search because it is a genuine Backward/Forward Search

What is does is the following. You first enter a publication number of any patent, you press one of the two “start search” buttons and the tool will automatically retrieve the “cited documents” and the “citing documents” from the ESPACENET database, which hosts over 90 million patent documents worldwide, containing information about inventions and technical developments from 1836 to today.

The documents found are then put into one single neat pdf file that comes with deep-links to the full-text documents on the ESPACENET server.

Here is a short video about using the BFSearch widget which explains in more detail how it works.

Better Search Quality

The “advanced search” mode of the B/F Search is very powerful and we have found out that in 30% of all patent searches, the “advanced search” surfaces patent publications that are better than those found with other tools and search strategies, whatever they are.

Further Information Available

Check out my Prior Art Searches Basic course on my personal website if you want to know why the freely available patent databases on the Internet are good enough for that purpose, and other useful tricks and know-how when doing Patent Prior Art Searches.

Check out my B/F Search widget on my personal website if you want to find out how this works.

Martin "Prior Art, better & faster" Schweiger

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Martin Schweiger

Patent Attorney