Text Search Instructions*

Natural Language*

The natural language search criteria provides a “most likely” search using simple English words and phrases.

Stemming*

By default, all words in a Boolean search query match any form of that word within the search document; this is commonly referred to as “stemming.”

*Example: anticipate will also find “anticipated,” “anticipating,” “anticipates,” etc.

Warning

Stemming only works for complete, “real” words. So partial words such as “anticipat” will not find any matches.

Phrase*

“…” will restrict your search to only those documents with the matching phrase

Example: standards “convenience factors”

Finds: all documents with some form of the word “standard,” including standards, standardize, etc. AND phrases such as “convenience factor,” “convenience factors,” “convenient factor,” etc.

Note: Words in a query are automatically separated by an AND operator and results are ranked according to frequency and proximity of the words in your query.


Natural language search does not allow any of the following punctuation symbols: ~ ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ = { } \ | : ; ` < > ? /

Natural language searching allows common citation searching as described here.

Boolean Query*

The Boolean search criteria provides a powerful search language with “mathematical like operators” used to connect words and phrases.

Boolean searching allows the following connectors for combining words and phrases:

Operation Type This: Definition
Stemming By default, all words in a Boolean search query match any form of that word within the search document; this is commonly referred to as “stemming.” Example: anticipate will also find “anticipated,” “anticipating,” “anticipates,” etc.
Exact = Match exactly a word (without “stemming”) Example: =anticipateFinds: anticipate but will not find “anticipated,” “anticipating,” “anticipates,” etc.
Phrase "..." Restrict your search to only those documents with the matching phrase Example: standards “convenience factors”Finds: all documents with some form of the word “standard,” including standards, standardize, etc. AND phrases such as “convenience factor,” “convenience factors,” “convenient factor,” etc. Note: if you want to search for an exact phrase without stemming, it can be done as follows: standards “=convenience =factors”
And &, and Both words, phrases or sub-queries must be present in the document (this is also the default and is not required) Examples: standards “convenience factors” OR standards & “convenience factors”
Near /n Like AND above, but within “n” words of each other Example: standards /3 “convenience factors”
Before << Like AND above, but left word, phrase or sub-query must appear BEFORE the right word, phrase or sub-query Example: standards << “convenience factors”
Or or Either word, phrase or sub-query, or even both must be present *Examples: standards
Not - ! The next word, phrase or sub-query must NOT be present Examples: standards ! “convenience factors” ; standards & ! “convenience factors”
Group (...) Combines components and creates a sub-query *Example: (convenience

Boolean search does not allow any of the following punctuation symbols: ~ @ # $ % ^ * _ { } \ : ; ` > ? /

Boolean searching allows common citation searching as described here.

Citations in Text Searches*

Overview*

Legal citations can appear in different formats in court documents. For example, a citation to a provision of the Patent Act might appear as “35 U.S.C. 271,” “Title 35, United States Code, section 271,” “35 USC 271,” or “Section 271.” Docket Navigator allows you to easily enter a simple citation form that covers all known variations of that citation in a single query. You can do this using two different approaches:

  1. Citation entry form. Use the citation entry form by clicking the “Add Citation” button located under the Document text search box. This will insert a citation that conforms to the rules outlined below.
  2. Manual citation entry. You may add citations to your Boolean search manually by following the rules below

Citation searches must appear in square-brackets with the section number after the appropriate all-caps abbreviation. United State Code and Code of Federal Regulations also require the title number before the abbreviation. Spaces are allowed before, after, and between elements but not with an abbreviation or a number.

Example*

[ 28 USC 24(b) ] - variations on Title 28, United States Code, § 24(b)

[ 127 CFR 34(b)(3)(ii) ] - variations on Title 127, Code of Federal Regulations, § 34(b)(3)(ii)

[FRCP 17(a)] - variations on Rule 17(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

Numbers*

Numbers are allowed to be any combination of digits (0-9), letters (a-z and A-Z), colon (:), dash (-), period(.), and parentheses. No spaces are allowed within the number. No other checks are performed on the “number” such as regard for correct format or legitimate values.

Variations*

Capitalization is not significant for the searches.

USC finds the title number and the section number in very close proximity to at least one of the following phrases.

  • USC
  • U.S.C.
  • U. S. C.
  • United State Code
  • US Code
  • U.S. Code
  • U. S. Code

CFR finds the title number and the section number in very close proximity to at least one of the following phrases.

  • CFR
  • C.F.R.
  • C. F. R.
  • Code of Federal Regulations
  • Code of Fed. Reg.

FRCP finds the section number in very close proximity to at least one of the following phrases.

  • FRCP
  • F.R.C.P.
  • F. R. C. P.
  • Federal Rules of Civil Procedures
  • Federal Rules (note, this overlaps with FRAP and FRE)
  • Fed. R. Civ. P.

FRAP finds the section number in very close proximity to at least one of the following phrases.

  • FRAP
  • F.R.A.P.
  • F. R. A. P.
  • Federal Rules of Appellate Procedures
  • Federal Rules (note, this overlaps with FRCP and FRE)
  • Fed. R. App. P.

FRE finds the section number in very close proximity to at least one of the following phrases.

  • FRE
  • F.R.E.
  • F. R. E.
  • Federal Rules of Evidence
  • Federal Rules (note, this overlaps with FRAP and FRCP)
  • Fed. R. Evid.

PR finds the section number in very close proximity to at least one of the following phrases.

  • PR
  • P.R.
  • P. R.
  • Patent Rule
  • Patent Local Rule
  • Local Patent Rule
  • Local Rule