We had another wonderful PIUG annual conference a couple of weeks ago.  A big thank you to all of our sponsors, exhibitors and volunteers who make it all work.  But I wanted to tell a story of why I love PIUG so much.  About a week before the conference, I got a request to search for a box.  Now, I work for Bayer (legacy Monsanto), so I search biotech, chemistry, some digital agriculture stuff recently, but I have never searched for a box.  I asked if it could wait until after PIUG, which it could.  On Monday, we had a talk on designs and then Dominic DeMarco gave a great talk on how to search designs.  So now I knew how to approach doing a design search on it.  Then on Wednesday afternoon Serco did a really wonderful workshop on indexing with CPC and how to use it for searching.  I had heard a couple of talks by them before and the workshop was just exceptional.  Turns out that indexing boxes is really hard (and now I know why, there are lots of features).  We talked through all the steps in indexing and how to look stuff up in the classification scheme and how to use that to identify what features you needed to know about.  It was very helpful.  I haven't been a big user of codes because the biotech stuff is not coded very well (it is greatly improved in the CPC), but for this it was really useful.  Not only useful in identifying the codes, but also in identifying what features to look for and that might be mentioned.  I didn't just use the codes, but I was able to use the features to come up with terms that I wanted to add to the search.  Before attending the conference, I wouldn't have had as much confidence in how to approach something so outside my usual field.  Seeing how the indexer views the patent really helps in understanding what is done.  So I was able to perform a reasonably good patentability search, give the attorney some examples of how he might want to claim the idea based on some related things that I found, and give him an idea of what else we might want to look at as the features materialize.  All because I went to the PIUG annual conference!

Thank you to everyone who made the conference possible.

Martha Yates

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  1. So, you learned to think outside it.
  2. This reminds me of the patentability search I was asked to do many years ago - before most images were even viewable online. 

    I began the search WAY outside the box - in a supermarket.  I found two cartons like the one I was searching for, and purchased samples to get photographed for my report by our graphics department.  After that, we drank up the contents. Now that we have cell phone cameras, this search would be more efficient, but not nearly as tasty!

  3. I would never have figured you for the box wine type. :)
  4. Actually, the supermarket boxes held fruit juice and beer.  I'd have preferred wine, but it didn't come in the right kind of box.

  5. I see. So your choice of wine is determined by its kind of box. Interesting yet again.

    In any case, let us all toast the arrival of the weekend. CHEERS!