Home » Features » Proximity searching has arrived!

Proximity searching has arrived!

We are pleased to announce the launch of proximity operators for searching in Relecura. In a traditional sense, a proximity operator based search would mean searching for keywords that appear within a certain distance from each other. The search strategies may sometimes require multiple combinations of the keywords using several Boolean and Proximity operators. This can often render the query complex. We have been looking for ways to simplify such operations, and a Proximity operator search in Relecura provides a way out. This method can now be used in combination with Boolean operators so you can search for one set of words within a certain distance from another set of words. This is especially helpful for quickly building detailed search strings in a very easy and efficient way.

Proximity searching is a very powerful arm for patent searchers. It helps in getting more accurate results as compared to using the “AND” operator between two words. Let’s assume you are searching for prior art for “virtual reality” technology using the Boolean operator “AND” between the words virtual and reality. Through this, you will end up extracting a lot of unrelated patents as the system searches for these two words in any page of the text in a patent document. In this type of scenario, Proximity operators based searching will help you get the accurate results by searching for keywords using the ordered or unordered proximity operators within a certain distance from each other.

Consider you want to search for “through-silicon via,” which is a technique to create 3D packages and 3D integrated circuits. The following query will search for all these words wherever they occur within the distance of 3 words, in an unordered manner:

“through silicon via”~3

Let’s take another example—high security wireless sensors. Now, these keywords can appear in multiple combinations in the patent databases, hence a comprehensive query to jumpstart your search becomes essential. Here’s how you can simplify this:

“[[high security]~2 wireless]~2 sensor”~2

This above mentioned query will take into consideration the following three conditions:

  • Look for words ‘high’ and ‘security’ within a distance of two words from each other
  • Look for the word ‘wireless’ within a distance of two words from ‘high’ as well as ‘security’
  • Look for the word ‘sensor’ within a distance of two words from all other words mentioned above

Since all these parameters are applied simultaneously, the results displayed will be precise.

More often than not, patent analysts have to frame complicated search queries that involve Boolean as well as nested proximity operators. Below is one such example to showcase how Relecura simplifies these operations. The search query for patents related to OLED display technology would be:

“(OLED OELD [organic (LED* ELD)]~2 [organic light emitting]~2)(display pixel panel)”~>2

In other patent search tools, the query below will provide somewhat similar results:

((OLED OR OELD OR (organic NEAR/2 (LED* OR ELD)) OR  (organic NEAR/2 light NEAR/2 emitting)) ADJACENT/2 (display OR pixel OR panel)

The key points to remember while using the proximity operators in Relecura are:

  • Use square brackets [ ] for proximities within proximity operators. Refer to the above example of how we used [organic LED*]~2 inside the higher level of proximity (for using proximity operators between the keywords that are already used along with the proximity operators)
  • Use quotes (“”) as the proximity operator for the complete search strategy
  • The distance can be mentioned after square brackets and quotes
  • Use (~) for unordered proximity searching and (~>) for ordered proximity searching
  • Use brackets to combine the words/phrases if you require the OR operator. Example: (display pixel panel) in the above search can be read as display OR pixel OR panel

One thought on “Proximity searching has arrived!

Comments are closed.