Clearstone Innovator harnesses the unique characteristics of infringement analysis to revolutionize patent clearance

Palo Alto, CA:  ClearstoneIP LLC announced today the release of its debut product and the first elimination-based patent search and management platform – Clearstone Innovator.  The application is expected to disrupt existing industry standards and conventional wisdom about patent clearance and other patent management activities by creating an entirely new analytical paradigm.

ClearstoneIP rejects the traditional notion that clearance searches ought to be carried out using the same methods applicable to prior art or validity searches.  Instead, the Innovator search platform uniquely ties patents to their required claim elements and presents the elements in an intuitive and functional hierarchy.  Searchers narrow the set of relevant patents by selecting elements that are not embodied by a product undergoing search.  The software employs a patented method to eliminate patents that require the selected elements for infringement, resulting in a manageable short list of potentially relevant patents.  The program also enables users to uniquely memorialize patent infringement analysis so that repeated analysis is avoided in subsequent searches.

The company believes that much of the problem with patent clearance relates to the excessive amount of search results, or “hits,” commonly retrieved with traditional (prior art-focused) search methods, such as those based on keywords, synonyms, and concept-mapping.  These traditional methods are adept at amassing a large set of resultant patents, but do not help zero in on the most relevant results.  In addition, conventional methods fail to take account of fundamental differences between validity searching and clearance searching – which include the recognition that patent disclosures are almost always very different in scope from patent claims.  These differences are at the core of the Clearstone Innovator logic.

By inverting the traditional logic paradigm so that the focus is on features not embodied by a product being cleared, ClearstoneIP’s software cuts to the chase and enables complete clearance searches to be performed in a fraction of the time and cost, often within one day.  Clearstone Innovator also simplifies and uniquely enables ongoing patent portfolio and marking management.  Visit for a free 30-day trial.

About ClearstoneIP LLC

ClearstoneIP, based in California, was built to provide patent professionals and innovators with a revolutionary platform for patent searching, monitoring, and clearing based on the fundamental distinctions between patentability and infringement analysis. It was founded by two seasoned patent attorneys and a veteran software engineer to bring to life a long-held belief that patent clearance could be made more efficient and reliable.  Visit for more details.


  1. Joe, it's good to see someone in the database/search engine world trying to tackle the difficulty of searching for negatives (claim limitations) rather than positives (disclosure). It's going to take a long time before we clearance and FTO searchers trust software to make the decisions we normally make on a reference by reference basis, but I definitely wish you good luck!

    As your platform evolves and you perhaps integrate it into the more traditional engines, please keep us in the loop.


  2. Joe Aliperti AUTHOR

    Dominic, thanks very much for your comments.  We welcome an open dialogue and would like to take this opportunity to clarify how our software functions.  ClearstoneIP was founded by practitioners with significant experience in freedom-to-operate analysis.  So, we appreciate and share the same skepticism of software solutions.  In fact, that skepticism is precisely what motivated us to develop Clearstone Innovator in the first place.

    I would like to make two points at the forefront:

    1. If used properly, searchers using Clearstone Innovator will achieve search results with greater reliability than without it; and

    2.  Innovator is already compatible with most, if not all, legacy search platforms.

     Our software does not make any decisions on substance or use fuzzy logic to try to synthesize what humans would do.  It simply allows you to reliably and efficiently memorialize your own reference-by-reference decisions to be re-used in subsequent searches.  First, the user generates an initial pool of patent references using virtually any means (such as the integrated US patent search function).  Once the initial set is imported into Innovator, a custom filter is generated based on your memorialized reference-by-reference analysis.  The user may then eliminate patent references from the initial pool based on this filter.  The use of your memorialized analysis solely to eliminate patent references is what makes our approach viable.  Accordingly, FTO searches and portfolio analyses can be preserved and built upon with continued use, rather than repeated.

     The conventional methods use computers to make decisions, such as by synonym or semantics analysis -- this is precisely their flaw with regard to FTO searching and the reason we are departing from them.  We are offering a fundamentally distinct alternative to the typical FTO searching paradigm.  We believe the same as you -- computers shouldn't be making decisions in FTO. 

    Best regards,


  3. Hi Joe,

    I can see how your software could initially complements other commercial patent databases for infringement and clearance search and analysis projects.

    Some questions:

    • Q1. From the video: Other than US patent numbers, does the system accepts WO, EP, JP, SG, etc patents?
    • Q2. There is a part where your system seems to link to USPTO search engine (Fig. 1)? (If so, is it just granted US patents)?
      Q3. Wonder if there are plans to include other publicly available search engines, eg. PatentScope?
    • Q4. While ClearstoneIP appreciates the semantic level analysis of text for manual searches, it is unclear if Innovator extraction of text is at the syntactic level or semantic level (NLP sense, see I've viewed the videos (Fig. 2) and read your patent (Fig. 3) but wasn't able to locate the answer to this question.

    Figure 1:

    Figure 2:

    Figure 3:




    1. Joe Aliperti AUTHOR

      Dear Dr. Yeap:

      Thank you very much for your interest in Clearstone Innovator.  I understand your questions and hope that I can provide some clarification.

      Clearstone Innovator is a software tool for significantly reducing the time it takes to conduct a freedom-to-operate (FTO) search while improving its reliability.  We achieve these goals by providing an interface for users to efficiently memorialize (i.e. store) patent claim analysis so that they need not repeat it in subsequent searches or studies.

      Innovator utilizes two modes:  (1) “Annotator” mode; and (2) “Searcher” mode.  

      In “Annotator” mode, the user creates and stores claim concepts (with corresponding patent documents) that are required for infringement.  The concepts are arranged in a hierarchy so that species elements are embedded within genus elements.  This work is saved as a "workspace" and is later used to filter patent references from an initial set of patents in the "Searcher" mode (your Fig. 2).

      In the “Searcher” interface, the user may carry out infringement monitoring or a FTO search in two steps:

      1. Generate an initial set of patent documents; and

      2. Eliminate, from the initial set, patents that cannot be relevant, based on a previously-created workspace.

      Innovator allows the user to create an initial set of patents in any number of ways (your Fig. 1).  As you mentioned, Innovator provides direct access to U.S. patents.  However, Innovator also permits uploading a saved list of patent documents or cutting and pasting a list of patent documents obtained by any other search means (e.g. PatentScope).  Once an initial set of patents is created, the user loads a workspace which is displayed as a hierarchical arrangement of checkable elements (your Fig. 2).  The user may then select elements not embodied by a product undergoing search.  The result is the elimination of patents from the initial set that require that element.  If patents are included in the initial set – but do not correspond to any elements – such patents will be included in the final results list, not excluded.

      Innovator is a platform for users to memorialize their own patent analysis.  Therefore, there are no limitations on the types of patent documents (e.g. applications, design, EPO, JP, GB) that could be memorialized in workspaces in “Annotator” mode.  Nor are there restrictions on the type of patent documents that could be included in an initial set of patents in “Searcher” mode. 

      Also, Innovator does not apply semantic algorithms to try to guess at relevant results.  Our concern is infringement analysis (e.g. FTO or competitor monitoring), which depends on claim coverage, not patent disclosure.  We provide an innovative tool for users to document and define claim elements that the user confidently believes are required for relevancy based on the user’s personal analysis. 

      Our goal is not to automate human patent analysis.  Rather, our goal is to prevent duplicative analysis from search to search.  I.e., we’re trying to eliminate the “noise.”

      Thanks again for your interest.