Japanese Patent Search Procedure: Step 6

In Step 6, we conduct the searches using the strings and Japanese databases selected in Step 5. If the hits are too small, such as less than 100, we usually would expand the scope by eliminating certain limitation in the strings. If the hits produced are too large to screen, such as exceeding 2000, we usually take two different approaches depending on a case-by-case situation: a) refining the search strings to narrow down the hits, and b) removing the hit noise by screening the titles of the hits to reduce the number of hits to a manageable level (usually less than 800).

We usually start a more focused search to look for relevant art that can determine whether a target claim is lack of novelty. If this focused search does not work, we then search for a wider scope to look for relevant art that can anticipate the inventive step of a target patent.

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