Dr. Richard G. Cooper


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Providing Expert Witness Services in

Software, Internet and  Electronics Technologies


Searching with Synonyms

You can use keywords and synonyms to search for patents.  The Search tab has a list of keywords which you enter, or which you generate based on analysis in the Claims tab.  By first selecting one keyword (double click on it), and then RIGHT-CLICKing to bring up the menu associated with the keywords list, as shown below:

Choose the Synonyms... item in the menu by left clicking on it.  This brings up the Synonym editor with only the selected word at the top.  You can then add synonyms by typing them into the list of words, as shown below:

When you are satisfied with your choice of synonyms, click on the OK button to return to the Search tab.  You can then choose another keyword, and edit synonyms for that one in addition. 

The logic of the Search tab is based on ANDing all the keyword terms shown in the Search tab’s keywords box.  Each keyword is ORed with each of its synonyms, so the result is a nested expression which logicians call ‘sum of products’ form.  You don't have to use this form in  Elk for Patents, but it will probably help you understand how synonyms work by showing you the equivalent form used at the US PTO web site.  In this case the search is for the term shown below:



     (communication OR communications OR communicating OR communicated OR transmit OR transmits OR transmitter OR transmittingOR transmitted)





You would have to use that format if you searched the PTO site by hand, but Elk for Patents manages that search expression for you so you can focus on the patent you're working on, and not on the mechanics of the query. 

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