New in PATENTSCOPE: Chemical Sub-Structure Search

September 19, 2019

Understanding the chemical structure of molecules is critical for success in the world of chemistry, with this type of knowledge serving as a springboard for further innovations in healthcare, engineering, environmental protection and other fields. To support the development of important new products, WIPO has developed a new tool to facilitate chemical searches.

The new search feature in WIPO’s PATENTSCOPE database permits a search for chemical sub-structures, allowing researchers to more-easily find molecules containing a sought-after fragment.

New and improved search functionality

Previously, PATENTSCOPE was limited to a search for full structures, but researchers may now enter a drawn sub-structure and search for all the entries in PATENTSCOPE, which contains some 10 million structures that can now be probed for a particular fragment.

Illustrated example with a sub-structure of the atropine compound

Initial drawing


Found matching complete structures


Significance of the new functionality

The relevant entries in PATENTSCOPE show chemical entities in a variety of forms – as a written name according to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) convention, an agreed commercial name or International Non-proprietary Names according to a list maintained by the World Health Organization, or as drawn chemical structures. The chemical search function up to now had been capable of searching only by a name or the entirety of a drawn structure – the new tool allows researchers to see a larger panorama of results.

The patent literature contains a large body of chemical information dating back more than 200 years. Access to chemical information lowers the barriers to drug discovery, targeting which bioactive molecules have drawn the attention of the drug industry. The new search tool helps facilitate important research.

Sourcing Info