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Quick Guide to Number Search (Opposition/Invalidity/State-of-the-Art)
Quick Guide to Number Search (Opposition/Invalidity/State-of-the-Art)

Quick guide to using Number Search in IPRally - for Opposition; Invalidity; State-of-the-Art searching

John Paul Keeler avatar
Written by John Paul Keeler
Updated over a week ago

This guide covers the basic steps of carrying out a Number Search for an invention, when you have a Publication Number available. This is most powerful for Opposition/Invalidity or State-of-the-Art searches.

Via the Number Search you can select the Full Specification; All Claims; Claim # as your search input. These will search against the related Graphs to find related Prior Art. You are also able to select if you wish to run an Invalidity or State of the Art search.

Note: For brevity, the Graphs for Full-Specification and All Claims will not be shown - as they are simply too long!

Best-Practice Tip!

Searching via Full-Specification (full-text) is a great way to find Accidental Prior Art meaning - results which match purely based on Graphs, without limitations of keywords and/or IPC-CPC bias!

Four steps of an efficient Number search

The basic steps of a Number search are:

1. Enter the Publication Number and select the relevant section you wish to search against (Full-Specification; All Claims; Claim #)

2. Review the search results

3. Mark the best findings as Favorites

4. Re-run the search using Zoom to Favorites

Additionally you can (but not covered in this guide):

The four steps are described in more detail and with screenshots below.

1. Enter the Publication Number into the Number Search Field; Selected the desired document and confirm the section you wish to search against. Finally, confirm if you wish to run an 'Invalidity Search' or a 'State of the Art Search' and press SEARCH PATENTS

Search with the Full Specification first

Statistically, the Full Specification is proven to provide almost as accurate search results as using the whole patent text, and is usually a sufficient input for a high-quality search.

Description of the Different Options

Invalidity Search: Will search all results excluding any family members of the input, as well as any date past the users settings (which can be seen here)

State of the Art Search: Will find any result which matches the selected input, regardless of dates or family links.

Full Specification: Uses both the Claims and Description (full-text) of the patent for the search. Ideal for searches around the overall subject matter of a particular publication. Statistically, returns the most accurate results in terms of examiner X citation recall.

All Claims: Uses every claim of the publication for the search. Does not pay attention to features mentioned only in the description. Ideal for searches with claim focus.

Claim #: Uses just the selected claim for the search. Independent Claims are shown, with the opportunity to expand down to Dependent Claims by clicking on the 'Claims 2-#' option shown below

2. Review the search results

IPRally provides many functionalities for processing the search results both inside the platform and by exporting data into another review platform.

Initial review inside the platform

The tool is self-explanatory when it comes to result analysis.

The result list and any Examiner Citations:

Showing image mosaics:

Smart image viewer by clicking the mosaic images:

AI-based relevant passage highlighting:

3. Mark the best findings as Favorites

If the closest prior art appears among the results of IPRally, you can click the heart symbol to make the hit a Favorite.

If, for some reason (yes, that happens 😊), the closest prior art is not among the hits of IPRally, you can manually enter the publication in the Favorites tab:

You are able to add multiple documents here as well:

We recommend using 1-5 best hits as favorites. Provided that they do not contain a lot of contradictory information, carrying out the next step (step 4) usually improves the quality of the search results. Please see our article on Zoom to Favorites for more guidance

4. Re-run the search using Zoom to Favorites

Toggling Zoom to Favorites on and pressing SEARCH PATENTS again, will utilize the Favorites information (together with the original graph) to find more relevant hits.

Note: you can track the new hits in the list using the VIEWED status of the hits (Blue: Un-Viewed / White: Viewed). You can easily 'hide viewed' under the View Options to only see which new results appear with the new search:

The viewed status changes also automatically, if you open the full document view.

Once you have re-run the search, get back to the analysis step 2 and repeat iteratively, if needed.

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