Backward/Forward Search Widget

My Backward/Forward Search Widget provides you with a faster prior art search result which is also 30% better as compared with conventional prior art search results.

Click here for a short recap video about using Backward/Forward Search, just in case that you have used Backward/Forward Search some time ago but you have since then forgotten how it works. Test it with the WO2008012345, the extended search should surface thirteen (13) good prior art documents.

I am using Backward/Forward search since the year of 2006. Here is a demo video from that time, please watch it, it is comprehensive, although our user interface has changed since then.

I have long forgotten how prior art searching was when I did not yet have Backward/Forward Search. But it must have been horrible.

In the following are a few FAQs that you might want to ask, too.

Prior art searches with Backward/Forward Search even produce good results if you are not a patent database search expert.
Do you do prior art searches only every now and then? I am a good example for such a person.

And I frequently run into the following problem: I want a quick prior art search done but I do not want to re-learn how to use professional search tools, like PatBase, PatSnap, Thomson Innovation,, TotalPatent, or others. Also cost-wise, purchasing such a software package this is quite an engagement that is only justified if you do prior art searches frequently.

Another problem is that prior art searches have an inherent high degree of uncertainty, among others because patent databases are never 100% complete, whatever the commercial databases providers promise you.

Therefore I have learned to live with the freely available patent databases in the Internet.

Take my Prior Art Searches Basic course here on this website if you want to know why the freely available patent databases in the Internet are good enough for that purpose, and other useful tricks and know-how.


Why “Backward/Forward” Search?

We call it B/F Search because it is a genuine Backward/Forward Search

What is does is the following. You first enter a publication number of any patent, you press one of the two “start search” buttons and the tool will automatically retrieve the “cited documents” and the “citing documents” from the ESPACENET database, which hosts over 90 million patent documents worldwide, containing information about inventions and technical developments from 1836 to today. The documents found are then put into one single neat pdf file that comes with deep-links to the full-text documents on the ESPACENET server.

Here is a short video about using the BFSearch widget which explains in more detail how it works.


Standard and Advanced B/F Search

The “standard search” brings up the “cited documents” and the “citing documents” for the specific publication number that you have entered before you started the search. There is also an “advanced search” that brings up the “cited documents” and the “citing documents” for all patent family members of the specific publication number that you have entered before you started the search.

Here is a short video which explains the difference between a “standard search” and the “advanced search”.


Iterative B/F Search

You can use the B/F Search for generating one result, screen the result for relevant patent publications, and then run a new BFSearch on those patent publications that you have found to be relevant.

You will be surprised about what you are surfacing.

Here is a short video about how to do an “iterative search”.


Studying the Search Results is Easy

You have the choice: check out the results online, by reading them on Espacenet, or create a pdf file with the respective links that can be sent to your clients.

Here is a short video about the two different ways of studying the documents that have been found by B/F Search.

To make your own PPL (Patent Picker Lite) template, use the Microsoft Word document here.

Better Search Quality

The “advanced search” mode is very powerful and we have found out that in 30% of all patent searches, the “advanced search” surfaces patent publications that are better than those found with other tools and search strategies, whatever they are.


Faster Results with Less Effort

Even untrained users can achieve very good results, fast.

These are the steps that I perform for a quick and simple prior art search for an invention.

Step 1: I use Espacenet and Google Patents/Google Scholar keyword searches for locating at least one or two prior art documents that come close to the invention. That may take one or two hours of my own worktime. I will very likely try out a lot of very specific keywords while doing so.

Step 2: I feed the one or two prior art documents of step 1 into our BFSearch widget and evaluate the results. I start with a “standard search”, and possibly I also use the “advanced search”.

Step 3: I may also do a second BFSearch with the results of step 2, but that is rarely the case.


Why does B/F Search Work so Well?

You are leveraging on the expertise of a multitude of experienced patent examiners. That is why you will find good prior art documents.

Here is a short video that explains why B/F Search works so well.