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Family Cluster Searching has just been released, and this includes a number of benefits - including the ability to search for Chinese, Korean and Japanese patents.

We know this is important for clients due to the huge growth of patent filings in these countries.  However patents from these countries can be hard to search for because they may be published in other languages apart from English.  Even if translated into English, technical terms can end up with unexpected translations.

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Here at Ambercite, we are very excited to announce that we have upgraded our existing Cluster Searching to the much improved "Family Cluster Searching". Below we list what are the benefits to you and common FAQs. 

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Does Cluster Searching work? Our testimonials page would strongly suggest that it is, but further evidence is sheer number of patent searches done on Ambercite since it was launched in May 2015. This is now almost 15,000 searches, from countries all around the world including in Europe, Asia, India, North America, South Africa and Australasia. 

Any why not? Providing you have a reasonable starting patent, you can quickly find many more very similar patents, and without the risks of having to make assumptions about keywords or class codes 

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Since the release of the more recent product Cluster Searching, the earlier visual based patent searching product AmberScope has taken a bit of a back seat. Cluster Searching is a very easy product and learn and use, and ideal for quickly identifying the most similar products to a good set of starting patents.

But sometimes patent searching is not a linear process. You may not be sure of the best starting patents, or want to build a visual model of the patent landscape as this can help speed up your understanding. This is when AmberScope still has a place, and why we continue to offer it in combination with Cluster Searching.

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A common question for us is - how does Cluster Searching compare to conventional searching?

Which is an important question, so we have prepared a simple table:

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Back in 2013 we looked at the leading patents filed in the 1980s and 1990s, using our metric AmberScore, which is available when you use our Cluster Searching software.  This allowed us to see some of the key technology trends from these decades - which happened to be:  

  • 1980s. The highest ranked patents included patents for heart grafts, genetic engineering, e-commerce, and inkjet printing. 
  • 1990s. The highest ranking patents included inventions for drug discovery, semi-conductors, genetically engineering plants, solid state memory, gaming, an imaging pen ...and most surprisingly, floral wrappings

But what about so called 'noughties'? – being the decade beginning in the year 2000? What technologies will these patents be protecting? 

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Here at Ambercite, when using Cluster Searching, we like to talk about two calculated metrics:

  • "Similarity"
  • "AmberScore"

And sometimes "Licensing Potential".

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So what is Americas' most litigated patent? Is it something to do with smartphones, maybe the famous 364 page Steve Jobs patent, being asserted against big smartphone companies around the world? Or maybe something to do with Viagra, being asserted against big pharma?

Or is it a predictor of the arrival time of buses or parcels, being asserted against public transport authorities and small companies across America?

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Imagine being asked to search for prior art for patent US9,000,000, the patent featured in our last blog which compared Cluster Searching to Semantic searching. What search strategies could you use?

Firstly, lets think about how you might search for prior art in a conventional word based prior art search system. You might develop a series of queries. Maybe something like:

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Summary

How does Cluster Searching compare to semantic patent searching? In this blog we run a simple comparison based on the round number patent of US9,000,000 - by choosing this particular patent we have tried to avoid cherry picking a patent that is particularly suited to Cluster Searching.

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