At the beginning of a patent search, one is often puzzled with how to start with the search. Relevent patent searching resources are essential for a better result. The findings of the broader research can help with developing better sense of the technology and further helps to build stronger background knowledge. This information helps to develop narrow search strategies and further improve your existing search strategy.
Resources for Broader Patent Searching
- Search Engines: Using search engines, such as Google, helps you get a sense of what kind of resources are available, related to the technical field of the disclosure. One can often build on these resources and use these as a guide in the further search process.
- Company Websites: A bit history of a product or technology field can help the researcher develop a good understanding of the technology and also to identify key players (companies and individuals) in that technical domain.
- General Information Websites: Encyclopedias, technology websites, internet forums, are always good resources to find general or specific information on any topic.
Resources for Narrow Patent Searching
- Patent Databases: Thousands of new patents covering broad range of technical areas are published every year. These patent documents contain complete information on many technologies. Patent databases help to find relevant patent documents for your search. Firms across the globe use USPTO, WIPO etc
- Technical Databases: Scientific literature is a trove of knowledge. If your aim is a particular technology, like metallurgy or chemical engineering, you can use databases such as IEEE Xplore, ScienceDirect, PubChem, Arxiv, etc. to find specific documents relevant to your search.
- Product Manuals: Product manuals often list some obscure features of a product which may not be listed elsewhere. There are some databases available which aggregate manuals for different products, such as ManualsLib, etc.
- Thesis Papers: These papers disclose novel or uncommon ideas relevant to your search. There are no commonly known aggregators for thesis papers. Couple of resources to find such documents are Scribd, Slideshare, etc. In most cases, a general internet search is helpful.
- Industry Experts: Sometimes consultations with industry experts often leads to articles, reports, or even review papers which are otherwise difficult to find. Again there is no general platform for this, but often forums and discussion boards provide a place to start patent searching.
A successful search for finding relevant references almost always involves a combination of two.
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