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Truncation

Truncation symbols (wildcards) are a set of symbols that you can use to extend the range of your search. For example, you can search for the plural form, or alternative spellings of a word.

There are three different wildcard characters that you can use to search in the European Patent Register’s Smart search and Advanced search:


Wildcard

Description

Examples

*

stands for a string of characters of any length

car* will retrieve car, cars, card, cart, care, carbon, etc.

?

stands for zero or one character

car? will retrieve car, card, cart, care, etc. but not cards, carbon

#

stands for exactly one character

car# will retrieve card, cart, care, cars, etc. but not car, cards

Restrictions

- Left truncation (?car) or truncation within a word (ca?t) is not supported.

- At least two alphanumeric characters must precede ? or # (co? or pa#), then a maximum of three truncation symbols is allowed (ca??? will retrieve call, cart, card, care, cable, etc.).

- If three or more alphanumeric characters precede a ? or # symbol, then a maximum of seven truncation symbols is allowed.

- There must be at least three alphanumeric characters preceding a * symbol.

- Truncation is not allowed in application numbers.*

- Wildcards should not be used in the IPC field as the data is auto-posted, meaning that each symbol is indexed at different levels. Example: B (section level), B65 (class level), B65D (subclass level), B65D81 (group level), B65D81/32 (subgroup level).