AmberScope FAQs

What am I looking at?

The image shows a selected patent, or ‘seed patent’, along with some of the known patents connected by a citation reference to this patent, or what we call ‘first order’ patents. Each dot shows a patent.

The image also shows what we predict to be the most important‘ second order patents’. Second order patents are patents connected by a citation reference to a first order patent, and appear faded compared to directly connected patents, hence the term ‘ghost patent’.

When a patent landscape is first shown, a maximum of 100 patents are first shown, to avoid crowding the landscape. Further patents can be displayed on request by moving the ‘% filter’.

Why does one patent have a red circle around it?

This shows the focus patent, which is the patent you started with.

Why are some dots bigger than others?

A bigger dot shows what we have calculated to be a more influential patent, based on its AmberScore rating.

What are some dots lighter than others?

The lighter dots show the most influential second order patents, or what we have defined as the ‘ghost’ patents.

What are the lines, and why are some thicker than others?

Each line shows a citation connection between two patents. A thicker line between two patents suggest that these two patents may be more similar than other patent pairs.

If you select a patent, all of the citations from this patent are highlighted, with the forward citation (newer patents. highlighted in green, and backward citations (older patents. highlighted in blue.

Can I zoom into the picture?

Yes you can, using the wheel on your mouse or equivalent zoom function on your computer.

How can I see the bibliographic details of a patent?

Mouse over it, or click it. The key summary details are shown in a ‘Patent Box’ and further details are available if you select the ‘Details’ box within the Patent Box.

The Patent Box shows key information about this patent is displayed, including its title, filing date, and owner. In some cases a representative image is also shown.

You have the following options with each Patent Box:

A hyperlink containing details of this patent in a patent database, which will be one of Google Patent, PatentScope or Espacenet.
Makes this patent the focus patent. Note that this particular patents shows '35 more', meaning that pressing this button to refocus the network onto this patent will bring up 35 further patents not connected to current seed patent 
"Type comment here"
Allows you add your own comment for future reference.

There is also a rating score, which by default is set to “?”, which means unrated (in this example, this ratings box is set up 4. After you have moved away from this patent, the colour of this patent changes from grey to orange/yellow, providing a record that you have reviewed this patent.

How do I change the relevancy score of a patent?

The patent rating score increases, from 0 up to 4, and then cycles to 0 again. The colour of the patent also changes as you change its rating. These ratings can be set by you to represent how important you think this patent is, or perhaps to link the patents to specific patent owners or technologies.

The other thing that happens when you rate a patent is that details of this patent are entered into the table on the right, which can subsequently be downloaded into Excel.

What do the filters at the top of the image do?

The left hand bar showing a year range, and allows you to hide patents with filing years outside this year range, by moving the slider controls underneath this year range.

The middle orange circle allows you to hide all but the most similar patents to your seed patent.

The right hand bar shows a percentage range allowing you to hide patents according to their influence. For example, selecting ‘90% to 100%’ using the slider control will hide all but the most influential 10% of patents.

What does the word filter box do?

This allows you to highlight patents where the nominated keyword is found in any of the title, patent owner or comment fields. Entering two words separated by a comma highlights patents containing either of those words. Phrases can be entered by between punctuation marks, i.e. “test phase”.

Alternatively you can hide the patent not containing the keyword.

What is in the table on the right?

This shows the details of the patents you have rated with a score from 0 to 4. This table can exported in Excel (using the symbol at the bottom. when you ‘Save’ the project you are working on.

How can I save my information?

Your patent ratings, and the record that you have previously reviewed a patent, are saved and are shown in subsequent patent searchers until the browser is refreshed.

To save a permanent record, select the Save/Share button and follow the instructions. A hyperlink to the saved file will be sent to a nominated email address, and can be reopened at any time.

How do I effectively use AmberScope?

A number of strategies can be used. You can review all patents, the most influential patents (largest dots), the most connected patents, the most similar patent to the focus patent or a patent of interest, patents filed in a particular age range, or patents selected by specific keywords.

If a particular patent is interesting to you, you can make this patent the focus (use the more button. and explore the patents connected to this.

Our published CASE STUDIES provide further information about how AmberScope can be used to support your search objectives.

Where does the patent data come from — and which patents are best to us?

AmberScope uses basically the same data as Espacenet. Altogether we have over 90 million patents in our database, although not all of them have citation connections. Our data is update every second week as we receive new data from the patent offices and have run it through our cleaning and augmentation processes.

AmberScope is dependent on patent citation data being published by the national patent offices in a suitable form. While our data covers 120 jurisdicions, in practice we find that US patents are best, followed by EP, WO, JP, DE, GB, France. If at all possible, start your search with the US family members for a patent family, and in most cases the earliest US family member (and searching more than one family member can help matters. .

If there is no US, EP or WO family member, run a search to find a similar patent that is a US, EP or PCT family member, and use this to help your search.

Does AmberScope work on tablet computers?

AmberScope can be used on some tablets, but it is not ideal for this. More tablet-friendly versions of AmberScope will be developed in the future.

Why does AmberScope not search by IPC codes or keywords, or have many of the functions found in conventional patent search engines?

There are many excellent patent search engines out there, and we encourage you to continue to use your preferred engines. AmberScope is designed to extend the functionality provided by other search engines, and not replace this.

AmberScope does not include the ability to search by keywords or patent codes as we believe that this would greatly restrict its ability to find patents missed by conventional search processes. Using keywords and patent codes in other search engines can help you find focus patents which you can explore further within AmberScope.

What are the applications for AmberScope?

AmberScope is excellent for prior art searching or to find later patents that are similar, for example if you were to look for potential licensees to a patent.

It can assist with freedom to operate searching, but only if used to extend a more conventional freedom to operate search. AmberScope should never be used by itself for freedom to operate searching.

AmberScope can also provide a unique perspective on patent landscapes and the relative importance of individual patents.