Quick help

Quickhelp questions

Quickhelp answers


How many search terms can I enter per field?

The maximum number of search terms per field is ten. They should be separated by a space or operator.


How do I enter words from the title or abstract?

Simply enter your search terms in English, separated by a space or operator. The worldwide database does not accept diacritical characters (umlaut, accents and the like).


How do I enter words from the description or claims?

In the EP and WIPO databases you can enter your search terms in English, French or German in the full text of the descriptions and claims. Both databases accept diacritical characters (umlaut, accents and the like).


Can I use truncation/wildcards?

Yes, you can use wildcards to expand your search to include, for example, the plural forms of a word. The following three wildcard characters are available: * ? #


How do I enter publication, application, priority and NPL reference numbers?

Publication numbers are made up of a country code (two letters) and a serial number (variable, 1-12 digits). Application numbers are made up of a country code (two letters), the year of filing (four digits) and a serial number (variable, maximum seven digits). Priority numbers are made up of a country code (two letters), the year of filing (four digits) and a serial number (variable, maximum seven digits). NPL (non-patent literature) reference numbers are made up of the XP code and a serial number (variable, maximum nine digits) and should be entered in the publication number field. You can enter a maximum of ten numbers per field. Country codes are optional.


How do I enter the names of persons and organisations?

The format for a person is made up of the surname followed by the first name. The format for an organisation is made up of all the words comprising the name of that organisation and should be entered in quotation marks. You can search up to a maximum of ten words.


What is the difference between the IPC and the CPC?

The International Patent Classification (IPC) is a hierarchical classification system applied to published patent documents. The Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) is used for carrying out patent application searches. The CPC is based on the IPC (and the former CPC), but is more detailed.


What formats can I use for the publication date?

Publication dates can be entered in any of the following formats: yyyymmdd, dd/mm/yyyy, yyyy-mm-dd or dd.mm.yyyy.


How do I enter a date range for a publication date search?

You can use any of the following formats: 2000:2002 or "2000 2002".


Can I save my query?

Yes. You can activate or deactivate the query history by selecting or deselecting the relevant box under the Settings tab.