Using patent classes for concept search

Patent classes allow patent examiners or other people to code patents according to their content. For example, patent classes make it clear whether a patent relates to agriculture, data processing, medical applications, chemistry, etc. (for more details, see Cooperative Patent Classification). Such a classification system is very useful for grouping documents by concept, for example.

Unfortunately patent classes are only widely available for patent documents; every patent is assigned one or more patent classes, depending on the patent’s contents. No such classification is widely available for other documents, e.g. scientific papers, financial or investment news, blog posts, and other contents from the web.

How Mergeflow assigns patent classes to non-patent documents

Because patent classes provide a useful, wide-coverage, and internationally standardized way of classifying contents by concept, and because no such classification is available for anything but patents, we built an automatic classifier. This classifier uses advanced machine learning technologies to assign patent classes to all incoming documents that are not patents (e.g. scientific papers, news, blog posts, financial events).

Mergeflow's algorithms assign up to five patent classes to a document.

How you can use patent classes in your search

The search syntax for patent classes is:


So, for example, if you want to search for medical contents, you could use the patent class A61. Mergeflow assumes four-letter patent classes. So in order to search for A61 and its subclasses, the search syntax is:


The [ipc] in angle brackets tells Mergeflow that it should not simply match "a61*" as a string anywhere in a text but only if "a61*" occurs in the patent class field of a document.

If your question is...

What venture fundings, patents, market estimates, R&D, etc. are there on "machine learning" in the medical field?

You could use the following combined query:

a61*[ipc] AND "machine learning"

Take a look at the results of this search by clicking here. Accessing this link requires a Mergeflow account. If you do not have one yet, you can get a trial account by clicking here (full access to all features, no credit card, no commitment).

Suggested further reading: How to get better search results for tech discovery

Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us