This page contains information on how to use the Quick Search Page. If,
after reading this page, you have any unanswered questions, please read the
The Quick Search Page allows you to search the US Patent Full Text Database using two-term Quick search queries. There are seven steps to using the Quick Search Page:
Some points to note:
The Quick Search page provides an interface to the database for two term searches only. The features available from the Quick Search page are:
You can use the Quick search page to compose two-term Quick queries. A Quick
search is one where you specify that a specific relationship must exist between the two
terms you provide. You can specify that either both must be present (the AND operator) at
least one must be present (the OR operator), or the first must be present and the second
not be present (the ANDNOT operator).
snowman AND kit
If you enter snowman in the Term 1 box, kit in the Term 2 box, and select AND from the Operator menu, you will retrieve a list of documents which contain both the word snowman and kit anywhere in the document.
automobile OR motorcycle
If you enter automobile in the Term 1 box, motorcycle in the Term 2 box, and select OR from the Operator menu, you will retrieve a list of documents which contain either the word automobile or the word motorcycle anywhere in the document.
hypodermic ANDNOT needle
If you enter hypodermic in the Term 1 box, needle in the Term 2 box, and select ANDNOT in the Operator menu, you will retrieve a list of documents which contain the word hypodermic anywhere in the document but do not contain the word needle anywhere in the document.
Note that you are not required to fill in the Term 2 box. If that box is left empty, the search will proceed using just the single Term 1 provided. Using this feature in conjunction with Field Searching provides a simple way to search only in specific fields within the documents. You are not required to select a field. If you do not select a field, the system will default to "All Fields."
The Quick Search Page allows you to search individual fields within patents. You can find a list of all indexed fields in the menu to the right of the Term 1 and Term 2 Text Entry boxes.
To narrow your search to hits occurring within a single field, select which field you wish to search from the Field drop-down menu. If you do not select a field, the search will default to 'All Fields.' If you need help searching in a particular field, see the Field Search Help Page.
If you are looking for something patented by an inventor named Simpson and you know it had something to do with surfing, first select "All years" to search from the Select years to search drop-down menu. Enter Simpson in the Term 1 box, then select Inventor Name from the Field 1 menu to the right of the Term 1 box. Then, type surfing in the Term 2 box, select All Fields from the Field 2 menu to the right of the Term 2 box (since you are not sure in which field surfing might appear), and select AND from the Operator menu. Hit the Search button. Patent number 5,387,159 is retrieved.
If you already know the patent number (5,387,159) and year of issue (1995) and want to
display that patent, enter 5387139 in the Term 1 box and leave the Term 2
box empty. Select Patent Number from the Field 1 menu to the right of the Term 1
box, click on the Select years to search drop-down menu, select a range which includes the year 1995 from
the list, then hit the Search button.
A group of words enclosed in quotation marks (") will be treated as a single search term. If you were searching for the phrase vacuum cleaner rather than vacuum or cleaner, you would enter "Vacuum Cleaner".
Note that you cannot use truncation ("$") within a phrase that is enclosed in quotation marks.
You can specify a range of dates you are interested in searching rather than having to specify a certain day or month to narrow your search. This feature is only available in date fields, such as Issue Date and Application Date. This is done by using the -> operator between two dates.
Term 1: 11/1/1997->5/12/1998 Field 1: Issue Date
This query would return all patents in the database which were issued any day on or after Nov. 1, 1997, and before or on May 12, 1998. If your range covers all of the patents issued in a particular year, you will get faster results by selecting just that year from the Select years to search menu instead of searching all of the dates in that year as a range.
Note: The selected year(s) must match the range of years you are searching.
Both dates in your query must be properly formatted for your search to work. See the
help entries on Issue Date and
Application Date for details.
The Quick Search Page supports right truncation in queries. This allows you to use a truncation wildcard ("$") on the right side of a search term, to retrieve words that begin with a certain string. If you are searching in a specific field, the string must be at least 3 characters in length. If you are not searching in a specific field, the string must be at least 4 characters in length. You cannot truncate within a phrase that is enclosed in quotation marks, for example searching AN/"general mot$" will result in an error.
If you search for tele$, you will retrieve a large number of hits, as anything with words starting with tele anywhere in their text will be retrieved. Words like television, telephone and telecommunications would all match. To reduce the number of hits retrieved, you may want to truncate on a longer string. For example, if you are only interested in patents dealing with telephones, you might truncate as follows: telephon$.
Be aware that the default search will search every word in every patent in the years you specify. This can result in very large numbers of hits. It may be preferable to begin by limiting your search to the title or abstract fields.
Stopwords are terms that appear so frequently in patent text that they lose their usefulness as search terms. Examples are "and", "or", and "the". Although they are not indexed as search terms, they will be displayed in your search results.