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FTO - Oven

Overview of Product

Recently, a FTO was assigned. After reading the product details, I found that the product is related to a melting furnace and charging system. Further the charging system used for transferring the metal into the furnace. The internal refractory of the furnace is made up with one of the materials i.e. Silicon Carbide Bricks, Firebrick refractory and Insulating refractory. The FTO search was restricted for Jurisdiction – US.

Search Methodology

Initially the product was thoroughly studied and after the understanding extract the key-feature from the product. After that extracting keywords and their synonyms along with their related IPC/CPC classes.

We began with the search broadly by using different search strategies such as keywords and their synonyms, IPC/CPC classes, keywords + classes, etc., In addition, the search strategies were restricted with jurisdictional and alive filters. Analyzing the search results and finding the patents or patent applications whose all claims are present in the subject product. The preliminary search was performed on the patent databases like ORBIT, PATSEER, ESPACENET, GOOGLE, etc. The assignee and inventor based search is also performed.

Challenges Faced During Search

During the search, we found many patents and patent applications that discloses melting furnace, charging system includes conveyor for transporting metals to the melting furnace but

  • these patents are also included some additional claims elements which are not in our subject product.
  • Few were already known to the client as he had already shared the list of known references with us.
  • these patents are does not discloses the internal refractory of the furnace is made up with one of the materials i.e. Silicon Carbide Bricks, Firebrick refractory and Insulating refractory.

Then we decided to do broadly search based and makes the separate search strategy for every individual features of the product and use most relevant IPC/CPC classes in our search strategy along with keywords.

Approach to finding the bang-on reference

After analyzing a lots of results, it was noticed that there are some assignee actively working of melting furnace. So, we extract the most relevant assignee and makes a search strategy by top assignee and most relevant IPC/CPC classes. Further, we also made a specific search strategy for internal refractory material of the furnace. After, using this technique I got some good relevant patent/patent application for our FTO search report.

Types of references Shortlisted

We found ten relevant patent/patent application which all independent claims are mapped with the product features and three patent (out of these eight patent references) cover all the features of the subject product. We also found thirty related patent reference, which are also very close to the subject product but they include one additional element.


The search report included multiple sections for summary, key-feature, keywords and classes, relevant results and related results. The product features are listed in the key-feature section and relevant result section. The identified relevant patent or patent application claims are mapped with the listed product features in the relevant section and also provide proper searcher comments if required. We only mapped the patents if all independent claims of the patents are present in product features. The patents/patent applications that includes all features of the products but it also has an extra claimed feature than these kind of references we are not mapped in relevant section but listed in related section. Finally, we provided a search summary in the summary section.