Only as Good as the Tools You Have…

We recently had a great conversation with a client, discussing the nuances of search, and the concept of optimizing search heuristics by understanding the strengths and weaknesses of one’s search tools. For example, it is quite commonplace to perform a “search” utilizing free search tools, such as Google Patents, or the USPTO’s online search tool. There are substantial limitations in each of the aforementioned tools, that one must understand before reaching any viable search confidence. For instance, Google Patents lacks complex boolean and proximity capabilities. Google did add the “AROUND” function, however in our practice we have found this operator to be marginally accurate / useful. It is also important to note that searching on USPTO.gov only covers US patent literature, and a limited body of data at that. Further, both interfaces are not conducive for efficient, precise patent searching. As a professional search firm, we rely on a plurality of advanced, subscription-based search tools, again, each with it’s strengths and weaknesses. Powerful searching requires powerful tools, and deep knowledge of the limitations of each tool. For more information, please feel free to contact our offices at 626-432-7292

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