New fuzzy search feature

The fuzzy search or quorum operator specifies how many keywords must be present in a group to qualify for a match. A quorum looks syntactically similar to the phrase and proximity operators, working like they do with a group of keywords, but unlike them, it does not care about keyword positions in the patent document. It only requires that “enough” distinct keywords are found there.

The syntax is:


The preceding query matches patent documents that have at least three out of the six keywords. Documents that have all six keywords, of course, also match. Documents with just one keyword do not match.

A quorum with a threshold of 1 is completely equivalent to an OR of all keywords. For example:


is the same as:



Quorum matching is particularly useful when matching all keywords does not return any results, but matching any of the keywords with an OR can return too many matches. Using a quorum operator with a threshold greater than 1 provides a nice trade-off for that case.

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