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Database quick guides: Espacenet

Quick references of the most central databases in the University of Oulu



Finding variations of a word


Wildcard characters
at the end of a word

replaces zero or any number of characters
replaces zero or one character
replaces exactly one character



Metal* retrieves e.g. metal, metals, metallic, metallurgy, metallurgical
retrieves e.g. car, cars, card, care
car# retrieves e.g. cars, card, care (but not car)

Phrases Phrase in quotation marks
- wildcards can be used
"waste water"
"waste water*"
Operators Boolean operators

condition AND monitoring

condition monitoring
retrieves condition AND monitoring

Order of precedence rules

Use parentheses to override operator precedence. The expression inside the parentheses is executed first.


Without parentheses the search query is processed from left to rigth


(condition AND monitor*) OR (failure AND detect*)  


condition monitor* OR failure detect*  retrieves
condition AND monitor* OR failure AND detect*
-> operators are executed from left to right


A maximum of 10 search terms may be entered in each field and a total of 20 search terms as a whole.

In the worldwide collection full texts (claims and description) are not searchable.

When searching in the EP or WIPO databases, you can use the full text search field.

Patent family

See INPADOC Patent Family on the left side bar.


Tips for smart search:

searc term (lower case letter) finds title, abstract, inventor or applicant

Search Term (capital Letter) finds inventor or applicant


"social network*" AND Facebook