Report:QPAT/Search Interface/The Search Forms/Express Search
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|As of January 1, 2013, both QPAT and PatentExaminer have been discontinued, and they have been replaced by the Orbit.com portal.|
The Express Search Form
The Express search form was first introduced as the “Quick search form” in QPAT version 6. Back then it was just a simplified search assist, designed for novice users who might wish to use a less cluttered interface when they are first learning to search. In March 2008, Questel introduced a “Multilingual” search feature, and created the Express search form as a platform for it. This search interface will take any keyword search in English, French or German, and convert those keywords into all three languages simultaneously, running the searches in parallel. The system does this using automatic machine translation, via Questel’s partnership with Lingway, a linguistic analysis company.
Because of the machine translation feature, this search form will not support any type of Boolean, proximity or truncation operator. After automatic translation, It will run the subsequent search query in FamPat.
The figures below will show the operation and results of a multilingual search. First, a discussion of the search form itself: the features of the Express Search page are exactly the same as their counterparts in the Patent Search assist: the text search field can be expanded to four lines, each with their own highlighting color; the assignee and inventor fields are presented along with their “browse index” features; and the document number search allows the user to upload document numbers. The figure below shows the Express Search interface with all four text fields expanded.
Once a single keyword has been placed into each text box (operators are not supported), the search form will automatically convert the query into English, French and German language keywords, separated by OR operators. The figure below shows the result of this conversion. At the top of the screen, the converted search query is visible, and highlighting has been applied.
Because the tool relies on a computer machine translation, it cannot be 100% reliable in its choices of word translations. However, the use of machine translation engines to come up with alternate keywords is a common strategy for non-English collection searching, and Questel was probably wise to implement this feature in QPAT, especially along with the development of full text machine-translation collections (such as the Japanese MT collection introduced in 2008). The editors observe that searching full-text collections in their original languages is quickly being replaced by the strategy of loading pre-translated English language machine translations, such as those available in TotalPatent and Thomson Innovation.