061.001 Searching prior art based on patent applications
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2021S, VU, 2.0h, 3.0EC


  • Semester hours: 2.0
  • Credits: 3.0
  • Type: VU Lecture and Exercise
  • Format: Distance Learning

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to prepare, perform and document professional searches using relevant tools.

  • Participants are able to distinguish between different types of intellectual property
  • Participants can explain the structure of patents and the process of patent grant procedures
  • Participants can use this knowledge in the preparation of the searches and in the interpretation of the serach results
  • Participants can name use cases which are well suited for the deployment of professional research.
  • Participants are able to present a specific search strategy to solve a given problem.
  • Participants can name different patent databases and apply learned search strategies therein.
  • Participants can document their search, summarize its results.

Subject of course

The first lecture part comprises of an introduction to the topics of patent grant procedure, structure of patents, classification of subject matter. Furthermore search strategies and tools are presented. In the second part students are to form teams to prepare and perform searches on given subject matter. 
Thereby skills to prepare, perform and document professional searches using relevant tools are gained.


Teaching methods

  • Inverted Classroom supported by e-learning (TUWEL) and external online courses (EPO, British IPO, USPTO) to aquire knowledge of the course subjects. Appointments for questions with the lecturers.
  • Specific search tasks are to be solved and documented; individually and team-based
  • Characterisation of different Patent databases, team-based
  • Reflection-paper

Mode of examination


Additional information

Attendance required at the kick-off meeting, the first advisory session and team meetings (mandatory).



Course dates

Thu10:00 - 12:0004.03.2021 Zoom-Meeting (TUWEL) (LIVE)Kick-off meeting (mandatory)
Thu10:00 - 11:3018.03.2021 Zoom-Meeting (TUWEL) (LIVE)Advisory Session 1 (mandatory)
Thu10:00 - 11:3008.04.2021 Zoom-Meeting (TUWEL) (LIVE)Advisory Session 2
Thu10:00 - 11:3029.04.2021 Zoom-Meeting (TUWEL) (LIVE)Group Kick-off (mandatory)
Tue10:00 - 11:3004.05.2021 Meeting organized by the team (LIVE)Team meeting (mandatory)
Tue10:00 - 11:3011.05.2021 Meeting organized by the team (LIVE)Team meeting (mandatory)
Thu10:00 - 11:3020.05.2021 Zoom-Meeting (TUWEL) (LIVE)Advisory Session 3
Thu10:00 - 11:3027.05.2021 Meeting organized by the team (LIVE)Team meeting (mandatory)

Examination modalities

Attendance and participation at the kick-off meeting, some advisory meetings, the group kick-off meeting, and the group meetings are necessary in order to obtain a course certificate. You are required to do all tasks (self-assessment and progress [sap] tasks and graded tasks) and hand them in on time.

The graded tasks consist of solving individual search tasks and group search tasks as well as writing a database factsheet and a reflection paper.

More details will be available in the TUWEL course.

Course registration

Begin End Deregistration end
28.01.2021 12:00 01.03.2021 22:00 02.03.2021 22:00



Presentations slides

Online material available at certain patent offices (EPO, British IPO, USPTO), see TUWEL


  • Attendance Required!