Interface/Quick Search

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Quick Search

Accessing the Xpress Portal

The Quick Search option is only available under the Xpress portal for From the Xpert portal, access the Xpress portal by selecting the "Search Xpress" option under the main drop-down menu.

Select the "Search Xpress" option from the main drop-down menu.

The user will then be prompted by the system that switching the mode performs an automatic reconnection. Selecting "Yes" will automatically log the user off of the Xpert portal and onto the Xpress version of

The user is warned that switching to the Xpress portal will cause an automatic reconnection.

The user can then select from the main drop-down menu to search for patents (which will open the Quick search form), or the user can choose "Search Xpert" to sign off Xpress mode and switch back to the Xpert portal.

The main drop-down menu for the Xpress portal.

In the main side menu for the Xpress portal, the search options include the Quick search, number search, and option to search more fields.

Search options under the left side-menu for the Xpress portal.

The Quick Search Form

The Quick Search form only searches the FamPat collection, and at the bottom of the form under the "Collections list" section, only the "worldwide patent families" (FamPat) option is listed and automatically selected.

The Quick search form provides a Keywords section where the user can search by:

  • Keywords - This option searches the the title, abstract and key content of the records. Title and abstract searches apply to the entire FamPat collection, while key content searches are limited to English language U.S., EP and PCT publications. Key content contains the Patent Object (OBJ), Advantages and Drawbacks of the prior art (ADB) and Independent Claims (ICLM).[1]
    The user can select to exclude machine translated English abstracts from the search by selecting "Ignore the machine translation for the biblio data in the worldwide collections” available in the Preferences.
    The search form includes automatic truncation (stemming), where two character truncation symbols are included at the end of Keyword; ?? symbol (allows for zero to two characters).
    The Keywords search form also accepts wildcard and truncation operators, Boolean operators (including commas between terms representing OR), proximity operators, quotes, and parentheses. The form does not support use of quotes multiple times in the same query, use of quotes with brackets or parentheses in the same query, or combinations of operators and spaces/commas.[1]
  • Names - This option searches the inventor and assignee fields. The assignee and inventor names are not standardized, so different variations of a name can be included by entering the variations separated by a comma (which represents OR). The Inventor's name is typed as Last Name <space> First Name.[2]
    Truncation symbols can be used at the end or within words, and truncated terms must have at least three characters. The NOT operator cannot be used in this search form. The AND operator is accepted in this form, and the OR operator is represented by a comma. A space between two words is automatically interpreted as the W operator, which searches for adjacent words in that specific order. Using the S operator finds the terms regardless of position (e.g., EDISON S THOMAS will find THOMAS EDISION, THOMAS ALVA EDISION, and EDISON THOMAS A).[2]

A Restrictions section is also included under the Quick search form, where users can limit the search by date (this section must be used in combination with a keyword and/or name search). The date type is selected from a drop-down menu (no restriction, application date, priority date, or publication date). The user can then select the time span from a second drop-down menu (4 weeks, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, or 20 years). The help file notes that the FamPat collection is comprised of patent families, and contains references to multiple publication stages of patent family members. As such, a single record will contain multiple dates. When using the date search limitations the following rules are applied:[3]

  • Publication Date: Searches the publication date of the first stage of each family member.
  • Application Date: Searches all application dates for each family member.
  • Priority Date: Searches the oldest priority date of the family.

The Quick search form under the Xpress portal.

Number Search

A number search form is accessible under the Xpress portal, which can be opened by choosing the "Number search" option under the main side-menu. This search form is nearly identical to the Number search form under the Xpert portal, with a few key differences:

  • The user may only search in the FamPat collection
  • The options to search by INPADOC family and to display the INPADOC family graph are not available.
  • There is no import option for uploading files containing lists of numbers.

According to the user guide for the Xpress portal, this Number search form can automatically search up to 200,000 numbers at a time.[4]

The Number search form under the Xpress portal.

Search More Fields

The "Search more fields" form, accessible from the side-menu in the Xpress portal, is a slightly more detailed version of the Quick search form and allows users to search by:

  • Keywords - Searches abstract, title, and key content, as described for the Quick search above.[5]
  • Classifications - Search by IPC, ECLA, ICO, US (main), or US (main and x-ref) codes. This form accepts Boolean operators AND/OR/NOT, and multiple codes (of the same classification) can be entered in the form at one time. users can also choose to "extend" or "limit" the search to these entered classifications.[6]
  • Assignee (Original or Current) - Enter one or more assignee names (non-standardized) in the search form, separated by commas (OR).
  • Inventor - Enter one or more inventor names (Last Name <space> First Name) in the search form, separated by commas (OR).
  • Representative - Enter on or more representative names (non-standardized).
  • Publication country - Search by two letter country code, country code and kind code, or publication date in the format YYYYMMDD, YYYY or YYYYMM. To combine country code and date, use the L operator. Several codes can be searched using the operators AND, OR and NOT. The comma is equivalent to the OR operator. The space equivalent to the With operator.[1]
  • Restrict by date - See description of the date search options for the Quick search form above.

The "Search more fields" form under the Xpress portal.

Hit List and Record View in the Xpress Portal

The options for both the Hit List and the Record View for the Xpress portal appear to be more limited than the Hit List and the Record View options for the Xpert portal. No analysis or highlighting options are available under either the hit list or record view in the Xpress portal.

Under the hit list in the Xpress portal, users have the options to:

  • Change the display of the hit list to various layouts (short, detailed, or first page drawings) and content (abstract/drawing, first page, KWIC).
  • Open a printer-friendly view of the hist list.
  • Save selected results to "my patent copies."
  • Export the selected results in PDF, RTF, XLS, or XML format.
  • Translate selected documents to a variety of languages using machine translation.
  • Make the search an alert.

Various sorting options are available for the hit list, such as sorting alphabetically by title or assignee, chronologically by priority date, or by relevance. No filtering options are available in the hit list, and there also doesn't appear to be an option to save search results to workfiles or lists.

Hit list under the Xpress portal.

Under the main record view in the Xpress portal, users can:

  • Return to the hit list.
  • Open a printer-friendly view of the record view.
  • Save the record to "my patent copies."
  • Export the record in PDF, RTF, XLS, or XML format.
  • Translate the record to a variety of languages.

The user also can use the details menu in the far left pane of the record to view the records for specific members of the FamPat family or find similar patents to this family (no INPADOC family searching is available). Text tabs available in the Xpress full record view include bibliographic data, claims, description, key content, and full text. Textual tabs that only appear to be available on the Xpert platform include concepts, keywords in context (KWIC), legal status, and citations. Image tabs available in Xpress include the representative image, mosaics, first page, and the full PDF document. The legal status timeline tab only appears to be available on the Xpert portal.

Record view under the Xpress portal.

editors note iconEditor's Note:

Like the PatBase Express module, the Xpress module on is only meant for very inexperienced searchers who may be overwhelmed with the wide range of search option available on the Xpert portal. The Xpress module lacks access to the command line interface, the corporate tree data, the classification assistants, the index browsing assistants, citation and INPADOC family search features, and users are very limited with which fields they are able search within. The Xpress module also cannot access the PlusPat and Full Text collections. Overall, the Xpress portal provides very limited search options, and most users will want to access the much more sophisticated search and display options available on the Xpert portal.

editors note iconEditor's Note:

Some of the help icons in the Xpress portal led to broken links, including the main help icons displayed for the hit list and full record view.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Search Xpress Tab - Keywords." Questel website, Accessed October 18, 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Search Xpress Tab - Names." Questel website, Accessed October 18, 2012.
  3. "Search Xpress Tab - Dates." Questel website, Accessed October 18, 2012.
  4. Questel. "Patent module user guide – Xpress Search." PDF user guide on Questel website, Accessed October 17, 2012.
  5. "Search Xpress Tab - More Keywords." Questel website, Accessed October 18, 2012.
  6. "Search Xpress Tab - More Classifications." Questel website, Accessed October 18, 2012.
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