What 'Ask AI' can and cannot do

FAQ's on Ask AI Module functionality and Best Practice

John Paul Keeler avatar
Written by John Paul Keeler
Updated yesterday

What kind of questions can I ask?

The AI can answer questions about a particular patent. It sees the text of the patent and some of its metadata such as its title and applicants but it does not see other context such as the other search results or the text of the cited patents. It also does not see images. (But it may be able to answer questions about images or cited patents based on the information in the patent text.)

Here are some generic questions people have had success with:

  • Summarize.

  • Explain this invention to me like I’m five.

  • What problem does the invention solve?

  • What is the solution to the problem?

  • What are the benefits of the invention?

  • List the main embodiments of the invention.

  • List all part names with reference numbers.

  • What is the distinguishing feature over prior art mentioned in the patent?

  • What applications are mentioned?

You can combine multiple questions in a single message. This can be helpful if you want to get the answers in a standard format:

  1. What problem does it solve?

  2. How does it solve it?

  3. What are the main benefits?

Be aware, though, that very long and hierarchical questions may be challenging for the AI to answer correctly.

If you are interested in a specific aspect, you can ask about it directly:

  • Summarize aspects related to [fuel efficiency].

  • Does the patent mention [smart regenerative control unit]?

  • How does this invention impact [vehicle mileage]?

  • Is any of this claimed in the invention? …

  • Can this be used for …?

Can I ask the AI to cite the paragraph where it found the answer?

Yes, by including this request in your question. You can, for example, ask: "What embodiments does this document mention? Cite the relevant paragraph numbers and summarize the embodiments."

Be sure to double-check the answer, since the AI is known to sometimes mix up what paragraph is what.

Can the AI answer questions about patents written in languages other than English?

Yes. The AI sees a machine-translated version of the document – the same translation that you see in the IPRally app.

Is Ask AI able to understand synonyms or related words?

Yes, as long as they are commonly known ones. For example, if you ask about mentions of "micro-organisms" in the document, the AI is smart enough to include mentions of "bacteria".

Any more tips on how I can get better answers?


  • Provide enough context in the question. E.g. If you want to ask whether the patent would be considered prior art for an invention, include the invention description in your question.

  • Ask follow-up questions to dig deeper.

  • If you notice an incorrect answer, consider clearing the chat before asking more questions. The AI tries to give answers that are in line with the patent document and the conversation so far. Therefore, if some of the earlier answers are incorrect, the follow-up answers may be incorrect too.

  • Try to make your question grammatically correct. Due to the way the AI is trained, grammatically correct questions are slightly more likely to be answered by factually correct questions.

  • Try to use precise language to form your question. This way the AI will be able to answer your exact concern.

  • When working in a new domain, pick up domain vocabulary from Ask AI answers. Then try asking the questions again using vocabulary you just learned, and see if the answers are better.

Limitations of Ask AI

Does Ask AI work with documents of any length?

Yes it does.

However, for documents that are hundreds of pages long, the Ask AI may not consider the entire patent document in its answer. When the document reaches this length, the answer is accompanied with a warning icon and an explanation of the matter.

Are answers always correct?

No. According to our testing in the vast majority of cases the answers are accurate but sometimes they may be incorrect or misleading. Please take this into account when considering the answers.

The AI is especially likely to be incorrect if you ask it for information that does not exist in the patent document. Usually the AI will refuse to answer such questions but sometimes it may come up with an incorrect answer.

If you notice an incorrect answer, consider clearing the chat before asking more questions. This way the follow-up questions are more likely to be correct.

Can Ask AI compare two patents?

Not directly. But if you want to do it the hard way, you can copy-paste one of the patents to the text box along with instructions such as: "Below is the description of another patent. Compare these two patents."

Beware, though, that the AI may afterwards get confused about which patent your questions refer to, the original one, or the one that you pasted in the chat.

Can I ask questions in other languages besides English?

Yes, but the answers may not be as good as when you use English.

Is there a limit on how long a question I can ask?

There is a limit but it is high enough that in practice you should never notice it.

However, the AI may make more mistakes than normal if the question is long and complicated. If you notice that the answers are not good, consider splitting a long question into multiple shorter ones and asking them separately.

Is there a limit on how long the answer can be?

Yes. The answers are artificially limited to a few paragraphs in order to keep them short and fast. If you see a long answer stopping abruptly, this may be the reason. If this happens, you can ask the AI to continue its answer and it should pick up from where it stopped.

If I’ve had an Ask AI conversation, and later ask exactly the same questions about the same patent again, will I get exactly the same answers?

Not necessarily. We are continuously improving the Ask AI feature, and it may change the answers you will get, hopefully for the better. In addition, for technical reasons related to computation efficiency, the answers may sometimes vary even if we have not changed anything.

Can Ask AI compare the document against my search graph or search terms?

No. It can only see the current patent document without other context such as the search terms.

Can Ask AI compare the document against prior art?

No, except to the extent that the current patent document itself describes the prior art. The AI can only see the current patent document and not any of the prior art documents.

Can Ask AI perform searches or use other IPRally features?

No. The AI only answers questions about the current patent.

Can Ask AI answer my questions about the IPRally product?

No. It only answers questions about the current patent.

Can Ask AI read the text in drawings or diagrams?

No. It only sees the text in the main body of the patent document, not text in images.

Can Ask AI read tables?

No. At the moment Ask AI does not see the contents of tables in patent documents.

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