Patent Search and Service System (PSS) of SIPO

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The Patent Search and Service System (PSS) of SIPO is a free Chinese patent search platform that went online for public testing in April 2011, and "it includes a number of advanced search and retrieval possibilities, such as citation and family searches, cross-lingual retrieval, legal status information, full text data and machine translation."[1] The tool allows users to access CN data on patents, utility models, and designs from 1985 onwards, and the system is updated monthly.[1] Worldwide patent document data covering 97 countries (most likely INPADOC data) also appears to be searchable under the structured search form.[2] The tool is free, but registration is necessary to access many of the more advanced tools of the system (including the Search History, File, Batch, and Download tabs). The system is available in either English or Chinese, and users can switch between the system languages by selecting the English/Chinese option in the upper right corner of the interface.


The English-language version of the platform has seven tabs available, including:

  • Basic Search - Select one of the options to search by keyword (SE option searches title, abstracts, rights claim, and classification number simultaneously), application number, publication number, applicant/assignee, inventor name, or document title. After selecting the field search option, enter the query in the search form. Boolean operators AND/OR/NOT and quotations to indicate phrase searches are accepted in the search form. The user can mouse over the search form to view instructions on correct query formation for each selected field search option.
  • Structured Search - Under this tab, users have the option to search by "Worldwide patent documents," "CN patent documents," or "Worldwide patent documents other than CN." Selecting only the CN collection allows the user to search through additional fields, like "Brief description of design model" and "Zip code of the applicant." After selecting the collection to be searched, the user can construct a query through either a selection of fielded text boxes or through a command-line interface at the bottom of the form. The command line accepts nested queries, field operators, Boolean operators, parentheses, and proximity operators. The users can scroll over the text box of the search fields to view any available help information about correctly formatting queries.
  • Search History - View previous searches conducted through the portal. This tool is for registered users only.
  • File - This section possibly allows the user to access file history information for a given CN document. This tool is for registered users only.
  • Useful Tools - This section provides users with a number of additional search features:
    • IPC - Simultaneously locate Chinese and English-language definitions for an IPC classification.
    • Family - Conduct a family search based on a given publication number.
    • Citation - Conduct a citation search based on a publication or application number.
    • Legal Status - Conduct a legal status search based on a publication or application number.
    • Applicant/Patentees Alias - Find alternate versions of the applicant/assignee name.
    • Country Code - View the correct country code and organization name for each national or regional organization.
    • Bilingual Dictionary - Look up terms from Chinese to English or English to Chinese.
    • Relevant Classification - Enter an IPC code and find the closest corresponding code in ECLA, USPC, F-Index, or F-Term.
    • Relevant Term - Enter a basic terms and retrieve synonyms.
  • Batch - This section possibly refers to batch downloads of CN documents. This section is only available for registered users.
  • Download- This section possibly refers to PDF downloads of CN documents. The Download section is only available for registered users.

After conducting a search, users can view basic bibliographic data in a results list (10 results per page). Users can select or de-select all results per page and browse the full records or add the results to their list of favorites (only 10 documents can be included in the favorites list at one time). The results list page includes both the search history and favorites list on the right side of the hit list.

Each result in the hit list includes (when available):

  • Option to view or hide basic bibliographic fields (AN, AD, PN, PD, TI, etc.).
  • Details - Full record, including abstract with English translation and representative image. Users can view the full text image and translate the full document text from English to Chinese or Chinese to English. The full record view for US and EP documents also includes examination result browsing options.
  • Family - View a table of related family members for a patent document.
  • Citation - View a list of patent citation documents, non-patent citation documents, and cited documents.
  • Comparative Documents - View lists of relevant patent documents and relevant non-patent documents.
  • Legal Status - View legal status data for the document.
  • Applicant Information- View information on the applicant/assignee (such as address/zip code/country).

Help Options

For English-language users, the main help material is accessible through the tooltips that appear when the user scrolls over various search forms. A detailed Chinese-language help file is available here. English users can also access the most recent user guide from the EPO about the PSS system at the "Searching in databases - China" section of the EPO website. As of December 2012, the most recent user guide from the EPO on registering and document retrieval through PSS is available here.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "SIPO launches new patent information platform." EPO website, Accessed December 26, 2012.
  2. "Data included in the scope of." PSS website (translated with Google Translate), Accessed December 26, 2012.

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