Following the progressive release of our new Orbit Intelligence NG with a new search engine, please find below the frequently asked questions. 

We hope that will shed some light on certain points and satisfy your curiosity about the new Orbit Intelligence version. 


What were the reasons for this change?

Our current engine was becoming obsolete and was finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the exponential growth in the number of patents received every week. This limited the development of new functionalities.

What will this new search engine bring me?    

This new engine will enable you to benefit from a faster, more efficient tool, which will enable us to continue developing new functionalities in the years to come.

Is Elastic search a Questel owned engine? does it change anything to the security of our data?

Our developments sometimes include open source components. A procedure is in place to check the security of these components, periodically and on demand. This procedure complies with the ISO 27001 standard, for which our applications are certified.

The level of security remains optimal following the integration of Elastic Search into Orbit NG.

What are the main commands/fields removed when transitioning to Orbit Intelligence New Generation?    

Some syntax element have indeed disappeared:  ..LIM , SDOC , OWR , IW  . You'll find our suggestions for replacing them at the bottom of this page.

Are there any new commands that have appeared?

Absolutely. For example, it is now possible to search in exact classifications and not in dependent classes, using the fields  




Is there a list of available changes?

You can find a document summarizing all the changes at the bottom of the page

Are there proposed solutions to replace the removed commands?

Indeed. You will find all our proposals at the bottom of this page.

Who to contact when I have questions?

Our support service is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm. You can reach out your local helpdesk at this address

When will I know when I will migrate?

You can contact your sales representative who will provide you with this information. If you do not know their name, you can email 

Once migrated, you will see the blue "Orbit NG" logo in the top right corner of the interface 

Why do I sometimes get an error message saying that my search is too complex? What is a complex query ?

Before being saved and/or executed, queries are checked by the system. If they are deemed too complex, an error message is displayed.

If the query has too many Boolean operators, too many parentheses or too many truncations. The application dynamically calculates this complexity and displays a message if it is too high. 

Note that : 

- this is a rare occurrence, on the order of 5% of queries submitted to the System. 

- We are working to improve the System's operation so as to limit these cases of overly complex queries.

I haven't migrated yet, but I can no longer save certain scripts. Why?

In anticipation of the migration, we have already implemented a feature to check your saved searches and alerts. Before being saved and/or executed, they are checked by the system. If they are deemed too complex, they will be tagged "not runnable" and a message will inform you that this search will not work on the next version of Orbit Intelligence (Orbit NG). 

You will then be able to save it and run it on the current engine, but you are strongly advised to optimize this query now. Our support team will be happy to help.

Where do I see that a search is not runnable?

Before the migration, in the current Orbit Intelligence, you will see it in the My searches/ Saved searches section – see screenshot below. You can still run the search in current Orbit Intelligence, but we highly recommend that you adapt your search so that it is usable in NG.

In Orbit NG, it will also be in the previous search history, but without the “execute “ function

The database will be updated more frequently. What impact does this have on my alerts?

None. Alerts continue to run monthly or weekly, as per your preference. More details about the databases in this article

The database will be updated more frequently. What impact does this have on my searches?

The database will be updated 3 times a week, allowing you to obtain the latest documents published by the offices more quickly in a "live" search.

Why some scripts with update codes for weeks older than 2023-43 don't work?

The updates codes (UAB/UMTA/UP) on Orbit NG start only on week 2023-43, so they cannot be used for previous weeks.

Please remember to carefully read this article before using update codes.

I sometimes get different results on Orbit Intelligence NG than those obtained on the old version. Why?

Search engines are different and therefore work differently. Orbit Intelligence NG runs on Elastic Search, which enables us to obtain results that are sometimes more precise than those of the old engine, particularly when combining several proximity and/or truncation operators (see corresponding questions on operators). 

What's more, since Orbit Intelligence NG is updated more frequently, it is possible to retrieve recent documents that are not yet in the old system, which is only updated on Sundays. For example, searches carried out from Thursday onwards on NG already include the week's new US patents, which will not be present on the old system until the following Monday (saving 4 days).

Finally, some maintenance scripts are now run only in NG : corrections, modifications within a base (FAMPAT, FULLPAT) like assignees correction or improved translations

Could you clarify for me the point where it says : Custom option of exports has disappeared. Does it mean that we will no longer be able to customise what we want to export in the reports?

The custom export option has been modified. You can still create your own fields and insert a default value. However, specific database fields (FAN, ACT...) cannot be used via this option. You'll find these fields among the standard fields proposed by the wizard. If a field is missing, please contact us so that it can be added. 

Where can I find the definition of the fields used in Orbit Intelligence NG?

The fields and their usage are detailed in the "command line" section of the advanced search. 

Is there a maximum number of allowed steps in a combination?


Why is the dictionary assistant not working as before?

We're working on improving this assistant. It will be aimed more at improving searches by ignoring spelling errors. 

This new version should be delivered soon (March 2024).

Regarding the assignee dictionary assistant, it will remain complementary to the corporate tree. 

What is the behavior of the ":" interval operator?

It is used to implicitly combine several consecutive steps with the OR operator. Example: 


is translated by the system as 

1 OR 2 OR 3 OR 4

It can also be used with numeric fields, such as dates. Example: 


the system will search for publication dates between January and December 2022. It can also be used with update codes

How function the operators S and P?

S is now limited to 200 terms max, and P is now limited to 20 000 terms max.

This will results in less background noise in NG than in the "old version". When using several operators S (or several P) between different keywords, like:


the "old" system will search KW1 KW2 in the same sentence, or KW2 KW3 in the same sentence.

In Orbit NG, it will search KW1 KW2 KW3 all in the same sentence, giving more accurate results.

How functions the operator: nD?

Please find the following example :

KW1 10D KW2 15D KW3

The "old system" searches KW1 within 10D of KW2, and then within 15D of KW3

NG searches KW1 KW2 KW3 within a distance of 10+15=25 words apart. This gives more flexibility.


Note: to get the same behavior as with the "old system" , use several blocs separated by parenthesis like:

( (KW1 10D KW2) 15D KW3 )

Note 2 : please remember that nD still respects the sentences!

How functions the operator : F ?

In the "old system", F searches within the same field (claims for instance) within a publication stage only – Indeed F was based on SDOC (see below). 

In orbit NG, F now searches within the same field (claims e.g.) across all documents of a family or application.

How do I replace the ..LIM command I was using?

We have created a specific document detailing the different use cases we have identified. You will find it at the bottom of this page

How do I replace the SDOC command I was using?

We have created a specific document detailing the different use cases we have identified. You will find it at the bottom of this page.

How do I replace the /OWR field?


You must now use the /REAS and /PA fields. 

What should I replace the /IW field with?

You should use the /KEYW field.

What is Imagelink?

It is a new feature that allows linking between an image, its captions, and where these references are described in the description or claims. More details on our communication page and here in the knowledge base.

What are the changes to the history?

The history is now available for 8 days of connection, i.e. 8 working days. The number of steps per day is no longer limited. Steps are renumbered each day upon connection and grouped by day. A "dependency" section is created for previous steps that would be reused beyond day 8.

Will truncations change?

No, the symbols used remain the same (see dedicated article). Left truncation is now also available for searches on depositor names, inventors, representatives, and "business entities".

How can I be alerted when such changes occur?

Unfortunately, due to policy reasons, we are unable to directly email all our clients. However, we communicate with you directly within the platform using 'Chameleon'.

Chameleon is a user-friendly integrated tool that offers guided tours of new features, surveys, and more. While Chameleon utilizes cookies and GDPR-compliant, please be assured that we do not use the collected information for commercial purposes.

What are the improvements to highlighting?

Highlighting has been improved when combining steps: the keywords of combined steps are now highlighted.

Will the Workiles work differently with Orbit NG?