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Canadian Patents Database

Help: Search Language

The following is a brief description of the search language used by the text search engine. This language is valid in all entry fields except the patent number field.


SEARCH WORDS

Names:
names of inventors, agents, attorneys and owners (when they are proper names and not corporate names) are stored as lastname firstname.

Other tips:

Punctuation: Do not put commas or periods in with your search words; they are ignored.

Non alphanumeric characters: / and - are kept in the text index. All other non-alphabetic and non-numeric characters are ignored.

Phrases: to search for a phrase of several words, use double quotation marks. For example, "electric transformer".


PROXIMITY OPERATORS

<NEAR>
search for two or more words within n number of words of each other. n is an integer between 1 and 1024. <NEAR> defaults to <NEAR/256>

<PARAGRAPH>
same as <NEAR/100>

<SENTENCE>
same as <NEAR/15>

<ORDER>
specifies the order of words when using <PARAGRAPH>, <SENTENCE> or <NEAR/n>

Syntax:

  • word1 <operator> word2
  • word1 <ORDER> <operator> word2
  • word1 <operator> word2 <operator> word3 ...

For multi-word searches, <operator> must be identical and the search is for all words to be within n words of each other.

Examples:

  • robot <near> arm
  • wrist <sentence> hollow
  • wrist <near/5> pin <near/5> hollow
  • fiberglass <near> covering
  • rotating <order> <sentence> armature

LOGICAL OPERATORS

<AND>
search for documents with all words.

<OR>
search for documents with any word.

<ACCRUE>
search for documents with any word. The more words found, the better the score.

<NOT>
exclude documents with specified word. Used only with <AND> and <OR>

Syntax:

  • word1 <operator> word2
  • word1 <operator> word2 <operator> word3 ...

Examples:

  • cpu <or> processor
  • market <and> survey
  • (silane <or> organopolysiloxane) <and> silicium
  • computer <and> <not> mainframe

FIELD SEARCH OPERATOR

<IN>
search for word in a specific field of the patent index. The available fields are:

  • title - for the title of the invention
  • abstract - for the abstract
  • owner - for the owner names
  • inventor - for the inventor names
  • claims - for the claims
  • CPC - for Canadian Patent Code
  • IPC - for International Patent Code
  • PCTNUM - for PCT Filling Number
  • PUBNUM - for International Publication Number

Syntax:

  • word <in> field
  • word <in> (field1, field2, ...)

Examples:

  • algorithm <in> title
  • junction <in> (title, abstract, claims)

WILDCARDS

*
specifies zero or more alphanumeric characters

?
specifies one alphanumeric character

Syntax:

  • *word
  • word*
  • w*rd
  • ?word
  • word?
  • w?rd

Note: Wildcards will lengthen the time of your search.

Examples:

  • fire* will match fire, fires, fireman, firefighter, etc.
  • ?am will match cam, ram, jam, etc.
  • Wickr* <near> Kumar

MORE EXAMPLES

golf ball
Searches for the phrase "golf ball" in all fields of the patent index.

"golf ball" <or> "golf tee"
Searches for patents with either the phrase "golf ball" or "golf tee."

"golf ball" <in> title
Searches for the phrase "golf ball" in the title of the patent.

("golf ball" <and> <not> practice) <in> title
Searches for patents with the phrase "golf ball", but do not have the word "practice" in the title.

"golf ball" <in> title <and> juhas <in> inventor
Searches for patents with the phrase "golf ball" in the title and the name "juhas" in the inventor field.

"input/output" <near> connectivity
Searches for patents with the phrase "input/output" along with the word "connectivity" in any of the text fields.

("walker mark" <in> inventor ) <and> (switch box <in> title)
Searches for patents where "Mark Walker" was the inventor and the word "switch box" appears in the title. When searching for names, use the last name followed by the first name.