Collections & Saved Queries

Collections and Saved Queries are two different ways you can save the results of a search on The Lens.


When you search on The Lens you will notice a number of collection management tools below the search bar on the search results page. Collections are static groupings of documents which you can add or remove from at will from any number of searches you make on The Lens. As a guest user you can make collections, but you will need to register if you wish to retain access to them in the future.

The current maximum collection size is 50,000 documents. While we are looking at expanding this in the future we suggest the use of saved queries or multiple collections in the meantime.

You can always access all of your collections on the collection tab of your workspace here:

On this page you can see the name of the collection you’ve created, the number of documents in it and when it was last created and updated. Clicking on the cog on the right will give you a number of options for managing your collection.

  • Edit Title & Description
  • Sharing Settings
  • Import Items Into This Collection
  • Delete This Collection

Sharing settings allow you to make your collections public, at which point the link to that collection can be accessed by anyone (but can only be edited by you). This feature is great for sharing a collection with colleagues, or for sharing information publicly to a wider audience. Other users cannot edit your shared collection, but they can select all the documents within it and create a new collection from the result – essentially cloning it. The title and description of each patent is also shared, so you can fill this with your notes about the collection such as the method you used to develop it.

The import items tool is a very powerful way to add a large number of patents to a collection quickly. The syntax for this system is very specific and each patent ID must be entered as it is found within our site for the import process to work correctly. Here are a couple of examples of the formatting:

Note that any incorrectly formatted patent IDs will not be added to the collection, so if you are unsure of the kind code for a patent you can try adding every possible kind code and only the correct one will be added. If you are unsure of how a patent ID is represented in our system try searching for that patent and then look at how it is formatted in the URL.

You can also export your collection in several formats for use outside of The Lens. See the Export help page for more information.

Saved Queries

Saved queries are another way to save your search results on The Lens. A saved query will take your current search parameters, filters, and search terms and save it for future use. This means that each time you look at your saved query it will possibly have changed as data is added and updated on The Lens. Saved queries are however limited in that they can only save the results of a single search and they inherently change over time.

To save a query you merely need to click on the folder icon on the search result page. You can save queries as a guest user, but must register if you wish to have access to them later.

You can view your saved queries on the saved queries tab in your workspace here: