We Asked 100 Patent Searchers About The Current Challenges In Patent Searches

Problems can only be solved efficiently if you call them by their name. That’s why we have asked more than 100 searchers from law firms, industry and freelancers over the last few years about the challenges they face every day and which tools would make their work easier in patent searches. In this article, we present a selection of the most exciting answers.

From patent searchers for patent searchers – this is the maxim that predori was born from and that has accompanied the development of the patent search tool ever since. Adapting to a constantly changing environment is necessary to keep up with the demands of the times. In our opinion, a good way to fulfill this is to listen to the opinions and wishes of our customers and to always include them in the development.  However, continuous transformation is expected from both sides – user and application

predori is the state of the art tool for finding 'state of the art'.


These are the TOP 5 requirements that our surveyed 100 patent searchers would absolutely demand from a contemporary patent search tool:

1. Usability

Time is precious, and users are reluctant to waste it on long onboarding processes or complicated navigation structures.

A simple and intuitive user interface is an important prerequisite for working efficiently. It does not require a long training period and offers a clear structure. In addition, complex user interfaces hinder the enjoyment of research. A guided search with targeted features instead of tedious or rigid processes that require many iterations is one of the most important requirements expected from a modern patent search tool. Efficient access to patent information provides diverse room for maneuver in the respective IP strategy.

2. Transparency

Many patent searchers we interviewed complained that when using AI tools, they are often unsure if the hit lists are valid, if the results are complete, and if they can rely on the results. It’s like a black box, they say, as to what comes out in the end. Repeated searches often come up with different results, which feels like rolling the dice. Under these conditions, it is not possible to conduct a meaningful patent search. The assessment is untraceable and information can neither be communicated nor used for a successful IP strategy.

A search that is not comprehensible is useless. Searches must be transparent!

AI can do a lot of work for humans and thus speed up searches. In our opinion, however, the key to success is the interplay of human expertise & artificial intelligence in patent searches. This interaction is indispensable for a reliable patent search, because good searches can never be done entirely without human expertise. Our novel search workflow provides this human&AI interaction and delivers full traceability of results.

A patent search with predori is fully transparent despite the use of autonomous artificial intelligence. predori is the ANTI-Blackbox. Thus, the application meets the demand of professional users for legally compliant documentation.

3. Collaborative work

Due to the different interfaces between various contact persons and the researchers, valuable information is often lost during the research process. As a result, documents are read several times, what has already been selected is sometimes lost, and information is stored in a cumbersome manner. In addition, researchers often fear that searches collected over the years cannot be transferred to new tools, which holds them back from making changes.

Modern patent search tools no longer serve the sole purpose of searching. Rather, they function as a platform for collaborative work and facilitate cooperation between IP management and development, or companies and patent law firms. It is important to keep this in mind when making your selection.

In our opinion, an advanced patent search technology is more than just document retrieval. Rather, it should represent an interactive system that allows patent law questions to be answered by an interdisciplinary team. Finding the relevant prior art, evaluating individual patent documents found and finally communicating the results are consecutive steps in predori. Searches can be processed, sifted and managed together with all parties involved. For example, the technology expert can use his expertise to obtain relevant patent information and pass the search on to an IP professional for subsequent assessment. Expertise is optimally deployed and the information relevant to your work is available to everyone.

Because teamwork works!

4. Asian Documents (most of all: China)

Many researchers consider the unavailability of a large data set to be a major shortcoming. Again and again, China was mentioned to us as a “blind spot” in the field of patent specifications. However, technology companies are only free to act in international competition if they have a comprehensive picture of the existing patent information.

predori users have access to patent information from all over the world, including Asian documents – and thus China. Our global database is updated every second with publications and corrections of patent office data.

5. Chance Management

How much time do you have to implement a new software and train all affected employees? The opinion of our interviewed searchers is clear: None.

The decision should therefore be made in favor of a tool that makes the change management process as simple and efficient as possible. In reality, this requirement is met by a self-explanatory and intuitive use that significantly shortens implementation workshops. For the IT department, the work is made easier if it is SaaS, i.e. ‘Software as a Service’, which is available virtually and therefore neither has to be installed on the company’s own IT environment, nor does it force additional workloads with regular updates.

To change the tool is generally only worthwhile, of course, if the new tool can achieve significant added value such as improved quality, time gained, costs saved, revenues increased, success secured and innovations strengthened.


According to the experts interviewed, these were the 5 most important requirements you should demand of a modern patent search tool in order to obtain efficient and thus simple, transparent, collaborative, global and secure access to patent information.

To get a full picture of how we implement all these requirements at predori, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to answering your questions and exchanging ideas with you.