I am putting out a call for help. I am a librarian with experience in freedom-to-operate searching. My boss is now requiring me to work with patent landscaping and analysis. I fully support the additional responsibilities and do enjoy working with patents so the added skills will be a good thing. That said I am really struggling with learning the process. I work solo and I don’t really know anyone who does landscaping and analysis so I don’t have anyone to turn to for advice. I’ve browsed the internet, read the PIUG resources and the Patent Searching Tools & Techniques book by Landon IP.
I understand the goals and concepts of landscaping and analysis, my struggle is in dealing with the large volume of patents and actually turning it into useful data. My sole experience with patents is in taking a datasheet or general materials information and finding one specific patent. Now I need to really change my behavior to look at a much broader set of patents. I’m a Thomson Innovation user and they have been helpful with training on the tools available, but I’m still feeling very overwhelmed.
The project I am currently working on is one where they want me to do a white space analysis. They want to look at all alloy patents that describe a certain set of properties and then plot out the patents that fall in certain ranges of those properties. The properties are located in various portions of patents – sometimes abstract, claims or description so I’ve had to keep the searching broad. If I go by keywords I’m looking at 900 patent families to analyze.
When I tried explaining this to my Thomson trainer he suggested I make sure to include various keywords, patents citing my “seed” patent and searching on alloy names that might be referenced in similar patents. When I include all of that I’m looking at almost 4,000 patents.
What I really wanted to do was hire a consultant who does this for a living and work together on the project so I could see first hand the process and methodology to do this kind of work, getting training through the course of the project. Of course my boss said no and thinks this is easy and I’m not going about it correctly (he is neither a librarian nor someone who works with patents). I haven’t been able to find any training opportunities but I’m sure there is something out there. The few people I’ve encountered who do this work learned on the job working with someone else who knew how to do it. I know the annual conference is all about this topic but unfortunately I can’t make it this year.
So now that you know my back-story let me restate that I’m looking for help. Suggestions for training, resources, tools or any advice that might assist me. If there is anyone out there who would be willing to be a mentor and communicate with me on occasion when I have questions or need someone to bounce ideas and strategies with that would be great too.
Thank you for your time,
Librarian & Copyright Officer
Carpenter Technology Corporation