Natural language processing

AI-assisted patent document exploration

Recent developments in natural language processing (NLP) have made it possible to compare documents in ways that were not feasible just a few years ago. NLP tools can be constructed to analyze high-level themes and subject matter features. Rather than identifying documents that contain a term "cell phone", for example, you might instead select documents that are about cell phones. This can be a more natural way to discover documents and often yields good results with surprisingly little effort. Nelson Patent Law has begun developing tools based on some of these AI technologies to quickly gain insights during searching and while drafting patent applications. Because this mode of exploration can simplify parts of the searching process, we decided to provide exploration sessions as a service. The service is available through a privately-accessed and inventor-directed interface.

Purchase a 30-minute exploration session for $19.95

Why not explore some of those great ideas you've been sitting on?

How to use our interface

Once the session begins, a single text input area will appear. Inserting (or modifying) the text in this area will automatically trigger a comparison between the text and documents within the database - there is no need to press any buttons. A list of 10 documents will appear below the text input area. The application serial number and document title appear, along with a subjective score of how related the document is to the query (higher scores indicate more related). The listed documents can be displayed (text only) by clicking on the title. To adjust the search, simply edit the text in the input area. Note that the same query text may generate several variations of the list of similar documents.

Exploration strategy

Our interface is self-directed and easy to use. You are free to search within any technology area that interests you during the session. You may change your query to describe different aspects of your invention as you explore the database. The system performs best with more complete descriptions (generally several paragraphs or more), but can still be useful with even just a few carefully crafted sentences. Your description is compared, quickly and confidentially, with millions of U.S. patent application publications spanning over 20 years. The references provided can be saved and read in detail at your leisure. We recommend focusing your attention on collecting document references during the session for detailed review once the session is complete.

Database contents

Generally, the interface can be used to find utility invention patent applications when a detailed textual description is available. Plant inventions are not included within the database, nor are design patents (images will not be searched). We have obtained most of our raw source data from the United States Patent and Trademark Office and have parsed the data prior to processing. In some cases, the information that we have parsed for a particular publication has been truncated. Also, while the database contains over 6.4 million documents (U.S. non-provisional patent application publications) and is frequently updated, it should NOT be considered comprehensive. Certain documents will be absent. Such will be the case for for applications that have not yet been published (generally applications that are within 18 months of the earliest applicable priority date) and applications that were only published very recently (within the last month or so). Finally, applications published prior to 2001 are unlikely to appear, though many older innovations will be represented (or even referenced) through modern applications disclosing further improvements.


Note that our interface is not intended to take the place of a formal search, but it is designed to assist inventors to quickly and independently find documents relating to their ideas, to get a sense as to whether the idea may already be known. The use of this software interface should not, by itself, be considered the basis of an attorney-client relationship. While the subjective value of this service is not guaranteed, the references you find may save you the expense of performing a formal search (finding the entire invention in a single prior-art publication might suggest the concept is known). Any peripherally related references can help a patent professional to understand your invention or even give them a good starting point in performing a formal search for you. Nelson Patent Law encourages inventors to explore prior art in this way. To that end, we will credit the cost of this session toward a future search that we perform for you. Request a consultation for search.

Neither your queries nor payment information are stored on Nelson Patent Law servers. The interactive session that is established is protected by SSL. Session information is stored on the client browser during the exploration session. This session can be used to retrieve the list of references you have selected as interesting. For this reason, you should avoid using publicly accessible machines to perform queries. Otherwise, take care to end the session before leaving the browser/device unattended.


Patent applications

Patent prosecution

Portfolio management & strategy


For questions about our services, to schedule a free initial consultation or to contact us for any other reason, you can send us an email or call us.

info@inlandip.com (951) 465-5321

We would like to avoid conflicts of interest. With this in mind, please do not submit confidential information.

Notice Regarding Legal Advice/Representation

The site is not intended to form an attorney-client relationship and nothing presented here should be considered legal advice. For legal advice, we encourage you to ask about representation.

Attorney Advertising

Some content within this site may be considered Attorney Advertising in certain jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

© Nelson Patent Law