The purpose of this paper is to discuss the issue of relevance in full‐text patent document searches from the viewpoint of end‐users in science and technology. It aims to…
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the issue of relevance in full‐text patent document searches from the viewpoint of end‐users in science and technology. It aims to present three cases of patent document analysis for relevance, with an additional case of improved search profile with increased relevance, and to summarise the findings in the form of instructions for users.
Two methodological approaches were used for the analysis of patent documents: value‐added processing of the bibliographic part of patent documents for the identification of trends; and structuring of data into systems for the determination of patent relevance. Overall, four sets of full‐text patent documents were analysed, covering the topics of: microencapsulated phase change materials; digital photography and image sensors; patent document processing; and patent analysis.
Value‐added analysis of the bibliographic parts of patent documents is a quick and useful option for the recognition of research trends. However, where non‐relevant patent documents are present in a data set, automatic bibliographic analysis may lead to conclusions that are mathematically and statistically correct, but that are not reliable or may even be incorrect for the user's research. Non‐adequate terminology is one of the main obstacles to relevant patent searches, especially if well‐defined keywords are non‐existent, as with cases of newly emerging and fast developing scientific and technological fields.
Based on the bibliographic and content analyses of patent documents, the paper provides instructions for users in the form of ten general rules for increasing the relevance of full‐text patent document searches.