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PatentsView Query Builder Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the data field definitions that can be queried and retrieved using the PatentsView Query Builder?

Key terms in the patent data are defined in the Glossary.

The primary category defines the search groups available to define specific criteria. The Query Builder Data Dictionary provides definitions, search group, and category of all searchable and output fields.

Can I use Boolean operators in Quick Search?

Boolean operators are not allowed throughout the Query Builder, including in Quick Search. For example, if a phrase "bicycle OR tire" is queried, the Query Builder will search for all these words – "bicycle", "or", "tire" – in the patent title or patent abstract. The PatentsView API provides additional functionality and can be used for more complex queries.

Can I apply an OR condition to my Advanced Search criteria?

In Step 2, all search criteria defaults to an AND condition. For example, search criteria "Assignee Organization contains Microsoft", "Patent Year greater 2006", and "CPC Subsection ID equals H04" will yield results in which all three conditions are met. It is not possible to change this to an OR condition. Instead, we recommend that the user should submit a separate query to identify alternative results. For example, to identify patents granted after 2006 to Microsoft or Intel Corporation, submit with the following search criteria: "Assignee Organization contains Intel Corporation" and "Patent Year greater 2006" And then, submit an additional query with search criteria “Assignee Organization contains Microsoft Corporation” and “Patent Year greater 2006”.

How do I search for patents granted to a specific company?

To search for the patents granted to a specific company or organization using Advanced Search, select Patents as the primary category in Step 1. In Step 2, select the "Assignee Organization" search field from the dropdown menu under Assignees. Select the appropriate operator from the middle dropdown menu. Then, input the firm name in the text box. The "Assignee Organization" search field has typeahead functionality, so that a menu of observed organization names matching the entered text will appear below the text box. Choose the appropriate name and select the Add to Search button to add the search criterion to your query. It will appear in the Search Summary box. Select the Submit Search button to enter the query and move on to select desired output fields.

How do I find all the inventors in one city?

To search for the names of all inventors in one city using Advanced Search, select Inventors as the primary category in Step 1. In Step 2, select one of two search fields that capture an inventor’s city: "Inventor City At Issue" or "Inventor City Last Known Location".

The "Inventor City At Issue" search field can be used to identify all inventors located in the designated city at the time a patent for which they are listed as an inventor was granted. Since inventors can have multiple patents and relocate between each patent grant, an individual inventor can have multiple values for the "Inventor City At Issue" field. Searching on the "Inventor City At Issue" will yield all inventors that were ever located in the designated city when at least one of their patents was granted.

The "Inventor City Last Known Location" is the city associated with the designated inventor’s most recent patent grant date (i.e., the "Inventor Last Seen Date"). Thus, it captures the most recently known address for the designated inventor. Each unique inventor (as indicated by the disambiguated Inventor ID, if correct) in the PatentsView database has only one "Last Known Location".

Comparable "At Issue" and "Last Known" location search fields can be used to identify all the patent holding organizations or "assignees" in one city. Note that the same city name can exist in different states or countries, so users should take care to specify city, state (U.S. only) and country fields in the search criteria.

How do I find patents for which a Federal Government agency has some interest?

To search for patents for which a Federal Government agency has some interest using Advanced Search, select Patents as the primary category in Step 1. In Step 2, select the "Government Organization Name" search field from the dropdown menu under Patents. Select the appropriate operator from the middle dropdown menu. Then, input the name of the Federal Government entity in the text box.

The "Government Organization Name" search field captures the name of the U.S. government organization as reported in the government interest statement and can include high-level Federal agencies or subordinate institutions. For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) report to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), while individual NIH institutes (e.g. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Cancer Institute, etc.) report to the NIH. To search each level of the hierarchy, select the search field for the appropriate level (e.g., Top Level Government Organization, Second Level Government Organization, or Third Level Government Organization). For example, to find patents for which DHHS and all its subordinate institutions (i.e., NIH, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, etc.), select the Top Level Government Organization search field and input "Department for Health and Human Services" in the text box. Similarly, if you are looking only for the patents for which NIH and its subordinate institutes have interest, select the Second Level Government Organization Search Field and input "National Institutes of Health" in the text box.

Consult the full agency hierarchy in the government organization table at PatentsView Bulk Downloads.

Is there a way to preview results before submitting the full search?

Users can preview the results of their query before submitting the full search. The preview dataset contains up to top 10 rows of the full dataset and is presented in CSV or JSON format.

The query returns no results but is seemingly valid. Why?

A query may not return results if the search terms used do not conform to the data field formats in the PatentsView database as parsed directly from the raw files published by the USPTO. See the Query Builder Data Dictionary for examples of valid query formats for each search field.

A query may also fail if the size of the output data file exceeds 1GB. If you expect your query will result in an output file of greater than 1GB in size, consider conducting multiple queries with the same search criterion but different output fields. Alternatively, you can generate several output datasets based on different date ranges and other query criteria.

Note that the entire PatentsView database can be accessed via the PatentsView Bulk Downloads or via a MySQL database dump upon request.

Who should I contact for other questions, additional information, and feedback?

To send questions and additional feedback to the PatentsView team please visit our service desk.