NEAR and ADJ Proximity Operators

Proximity operators yield more precise and inclusive search results.

NEAR and ADJ proximity operators give you powerful options for keyword searching patents.  AcclaimIP has always (and continues to) support proximity searching using quotes and the tilde (~) symbol followed by the desired distance.

“light emitting diode”~5 means that light has to be within 5 terms of emitting and emitting within 5 terms of diode.

However, some of our users asked us to provide two new ways to search using Proximity Operators. We added NEAR and ADJ to AcclaimIP this week.

Proximity operators yield more precise and inclusive search results.

Proximity operators yield more precise and inclusive search results.

NEAR and ADJ

These two operators are similar, but NEAR does not require a specific order. ADJ requires that the terms you search appear in the relative order you specify.

One advantage of NEAR and ADJ is you can use wildcards ( * ).  Another is that you can nest complex Boolean queries in proximity statements.

See the following table of some common examples, and syntax that will give errors.

Query Syntax Examples
A NEAR B
A* NEAR7 B
(A OR B) NEAR C
(A AND B) NEAR C
(A B) NEAR C  –>  note, same as above (default OP is AND)
A B NEAR C
(A ADJ3 B) ADJ (C NEAR D)
TTL:(A NEAR B)
TTL:(A NEAR B OR C)  –>  this == TTL:(A NEAR B) OR TTL:C
A OR B NEAR C OR D –> this == A OR (B NEAR C) OR D
(A OR B) NEAR (C OR D) –>  possibly the intended interpretation of the above
“near” –>  searches on the literal word near
TTL:”near”  –>  searches on the literal word near

 

Queries that give errors Error message
NEAR Unexpected NEAR by itself
A NEAR Unexpected NEAR without right side clause
NEAR A Unexpected NEAR without left side clause
TTL:A NEAR SPEC:B Fields on both sides of NEAR must match
TTL:A NEAR (SPEC:B OR ABST:B) Fields on both sides of NEAR must match
TTL:A NEAR (SPEC:B AND ABST:B) Fields on both sides of NEAR must match
A NEAR (A OR B AND C) Cannot mix AND/OR with NEAR
A NEAR (A AND B OR C) Cannot mix AND/OR with NEAR
A NEAR (NOT B) Cannot use NOT with NEAR
A NEAR (A NOT B) Cannot use NOT with NEAR

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