End If Software

Semantic Patent Invalidity Search Reports

Our Process

Have you ever heard of a search engine that understands the meaning of the words - both the content and the search terms?

That's what the End If patent search engine does. We've indexed every digitally published patent in the US Patent database using this special technique. This builds our encyclopedia and dictionary. It also gives our engine the knowledge of all humankind.

When we search, it looks for the most relevant patent, defined by the meaning of the search phrases and the content of the patent. Our search is so sophisticated, it doesn't just look at the patent - it finds the most relevant paragraph (from the detailed specification or the claims), and ranks the document by the number of highly relevant paragraphs in the document.

We work with the technology expert to learn and craft the exact concept to be invalidated, and then wordsmith it to put the proper emphasis on the most important concepts. We know the rules of how to get the most significant results to float to the top - and then we skim the patents off for you.

What do you get? A list of 10-25 patents with the most closely related patents to the exact invention (concept) that you want to invalidate.


Semantic patent searching was invented in 2003 by our founder, Stephanie Gibbs. Using the most sophisticated tools available for semantic indexing, she developed the process to "teach" the engine the meaning of each and every patent in the US Patent database.

As patents are indexed, the engine learns the meaning of every invention known to mankind - from baby diapers to nanotechnology; from sailboats to computer hardware. Every invention that can be thought of is understood by our engine.

So, when you want to find prior art for a very focused inventive concept, our engine can find it - no longer do you need to worry about lists of keywords, synonyms, variation in spelling, or the myriad of other challenges presented by keyword or boolean searching.

Get the Results You Need

Remember the saying ...
if you ask the wrong question, you'll always get the wrong answer! Our process assures this won't happen to you.

Developing the Search Strategy

The most important step is to distil the concept of the invention. We need to have a clear, concise statement of what needs to be invalidated in order to generate your list of potential silver bullets. We use several variations of the claim, claim set, or summary of the invention to give the engine the best understanding of what we're searching for. The most valuable input can be the attorney's statement of the invalidity target.

Communication is essential - we may request several telephone conferences to gain this understanding and focus.

Search Strategies of the Target Patent

We'll use several strategies which are already contained in the target patent. Each section produces results which may overlap, but sometimes generate a true gem. Here are the items we search with:

  • The Full Claims
  • The Summary of the Invention
  • The specific claim(s) that are the target
  • The attorneys statement of the invalidity target.

Defining the "Technology Sphere"

Our first step in searching is to cast a net to capture the nearest patents to the search strategy definitions. This narrows the scope of the search from millions of patents to a universe of a thousand or so. This selection is called the Technology Sphere. In this Technology Sphere, we've gathered only the most relevant patents from the US Patent Collections (both applications and grants). We only consider patents with earlier priority dates than the target patent.


Our search is an iterative and cumulative process. We use variations and combinations of the descriptions listed above to search within our Technology Sphere and weed out irrelevant patents. We like to work closely with our technology expert to fine-tune the search terms to enable the best results. We rank and re-rank our Technology Sphere patents to let the most relevant float to the top of the list.

Finding the Inflection Point

The inflection point in our search results is the point at which the number of patents at a particular relevance score increases at an increasing rate. What does this mean? It means that with each drop in relevancy, there are more and increasingly irrelevant patents. At the inflection point, we know to stop looking!

This inflection point is based on a sophisticated algorithm of mathematical calculations based on the meaning of the search strategy and the meaning of the concepts in the patent result. Typically, we find that there are less than 20 patents out of our Technology Sphere which are above the inflection point.

Using the Inflection Point

Patents above the inflection point are used to generate the primary reports, or "Preferred Patents". This report focuses your attention on the few patents which have an earlier priority date and are closely related to the target inventive concept.

After the primary reports have been generated, the highest scoring patents outside the Technology Sphere are used to generate the Peripheral reports.

In each set of reports, you get a guide to the exact paragraph within the patent which makes it closely related to your concept.

Sound Interesting?

Use our Contact Page to let us know any questions you might have, and we'll be back in touch as soon as we can.