LexisNexis TotalPatent Keeps Patent Research out of the “Black Box” with Improved Version of Semantic Search

March 3, 2015 Reed Tech IP Solutions

A pioneer in truly transparent and controllable semantic search since 2009, the new semantic search by LexisNexis focuses on the meaning behind the words used in patent search queries

HORSHAM, Pa., March 4, 2015—Reed Technology and Information Services Inc. (Reed Tech), a LexisNexis company, today announced the advancement of the innovative semantic search technology used to power the LexisNexis® TotalPatent® research and retrieval service. An evolution in patent research, true semantic search differs fundamentally from traditional keyword or synonym-building searches. Semantic search through TotalPatent has been recently refined to deliver search results that are more relevant and precise than ever, and do not require complex Boolean searches. The latest release builds on the past six years of development of the LexisNexis semantic search technology.

gI_60444_TotalPatent_004Semantic search uses the science of meaning in language (“semantics”) to produce highly relevant search results based on an analysis of the meaning of the language used in search queries—not just the words themselves—and relate that to specific technology fields. With the ability to identify multiple concepts contained within a single search query, the semantic “brains” break complex subjects down into various possible ideas, allowing the researcher to review the concepts suggested, assign relative importance by weighting them, eliminate concepts that are not related and even add more concepts they think might be useful to the search project.

“In a universe of patent information where so many patent records are purposefully crafted in language designed to conceal the real meaning of terms, patent researchers need dependable tools that are going to help them find the needle in the haystack,” said Richard Garner, product director of IP Research Solutions at LexisNexis. “Even if users are not sure about which exact terms to query, the semantic search capabilities of TotalPatent will return a highly relevant results set—even if the patent records do not actually contain any of the original terms or were not initially published in English.”

TotalPatent, a web-based patent research, retrieval and analysis service powered by the world’s largest collection of searchable full-text and bibliographic patent authorities, allows researchers to enter up to 32,000 characters (equivalent to more than 10 pages of text)—much more than the length of an entire patent abstract—into its search field. The newly upgraded semantic brains, pioneered by LexisNexis in 2009 and continuously improved upon using contextual information provided by the wealth of patent data available to the system, present results in the form of a user-adjustable word cloud, in which the weighting and positioning of terms can be controlled for more precise results. In addition to millions of full-text patent records, TotalPatent also utilizes scientific, technical and other non-patent literature to return the deepest, most thorough search results.

Semantic search through TotalPatent frees IP professionals from the need to learn complicated Boolean search operators while also working in conjunction with standard Boolean search. Through its patent-pending “Visualize & Compare” tool, TotalPatent displays results between Boolean, semantic and other searches, letting researchers compare the significance of results between different search types.

“The elegance of the semantic search technology of TotalPatent is that it does not require you to be an expert to find relevant documents,” said Jaime Zamora, senior director of IP Development at LexisNexis. “It does a lot of the heavy lifting without requiring you to spend time determining why certain documents were returned. Unlike other patent research tools that do not allow researchers to see the process or recognize the algorithm to understand how it works, TotalPatent abandons the black box concept of patent research to deliver truly transparent search.”

Other enhancements to semantic search in TotalPatent include:

  • The addition of more than three million full text applications and granted patents from the European Patent Office, as well as full text journals and conference proceedings from Elsevier, to continue to broaden the comprehensive database available from TotalPatent
  • Changes to the user interface as well as to the logic behind the weighting and positioning of the suggested terms to deliver more accuracy and precision for patent search queries
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