Patent Search and Analysis Training

Could you or your team use detailed insight and tips from an experienced patent analyst on how to search for patents, determine the most important patents for a given project, analyze a patent for potential market relevance, and minimize time spent while maximizing your output?

I am now offering patent search and analysis training sessions from 1/2 day to 3 days in duration, customized to your particular needs, and I will travel to your site to meet with you and your team. Take advantage of my over 14 years of patent analysis experience across a variety of clients, including dozens of Fortune 500 entities.

Contact me to arrange a training session — I look forward to working with you!

scott|AT| wolfmountainip |DOT| com

EPO Patent Search Matters

I will be attending 2019’s European Patent Office (EPO) “Patent Search Matters” training event in Munich, Germany on May 7 and 8. I hope to see you there!

From the EPO:

The next in the EPO’s “Search Matters” series of annual training events will be held in Munich from 6 to 8 May 2019. This event provides patent search professionals with a unique opportunity to gain an insight into the EPO’s search strategies and techniques and to learn more about industry-specific searches.

At a total of 26 workshops run by patent examiners, participants will be able not only to take a closer look at a wide range of topics, including the impact of AI and blockchain on searching, search strategies and Asian prior art, but also to find out more about search tools such as Espacenet and PATSTAT and explore the complexity of searching in the automotive, ICT and chemistry fields. The programme includes plenary lectures and a round table on searchers’ hopes and fears and the future of searching in an AI and blockchain landscape.

In addition, at the much-sought-after “at-the-desk” sessions, to be held on the afternoon of 6 May, before the main event officially starts, participants will have a chance to talk to EPO examiners about approaches to searching in specific technical areas which they can select when registering.

(https://www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/official-journal/2018/12/a106.html)

Patent Deception

NPR’s Planet Money released an episode covering invention/patent scams, primarily focusing on World Patent Marketing. It’s a sad and cautionary tale. Be sure to leverage an experienced patent practitioner (searcher, agent, attorney) before engaging with one of these marketing companies.

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) also has a “Scam Prevention” page worth checking out to learn how to avoid getting scammed.

US Patent Term (Expiration Estimation)

It can be somewhat tricky to accurately estimate when an issued US patent should expire. Nowadays, there are plenty of software solutions that automatically perform this calculation so you don’t have to. For example, AcclaimIP provides the calculated patent expiration date. But if you do not have access to such a solution, fear not — you need not calculate the expiration manually. The USPTO provides a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet called “Patent Term Calculator” with associated instructions — you just need to find the indicated information and input it into the spreadsheet to have the expiration date calculated.

According to the USPTO:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office does not calculate expiration dates for patents. In response to patent owner and public inquiry, the USPTO is providing a downloadable patent term calculator as a resource to help the public estimate the expiration date of a patent. The calculator can be used to estimate the expiration dates of utility, plant, or design patents. The calculator contains prompts to enter specific information related to the patent in order to help in estimating expiration dates. [Link]

Stupid Patent of the Month

If you haven’t already run across the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Stupid Patent of the Month “award,” I can recommend checking it out so you can be entertained by each month’s winner. The EFF even has a “Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents”. The most recent month’s selection for Stupid Patent of the Month is US 9,069,648, which the EFF outlines as follows:

The patent describes sending “motivational messages,” based “on the current or anticipated activity of the user,” to a “personal electronic device.” The patent provides examples such as sending the message “don’t give up” when the user is running up a hill. The examples aren’t limited to health or exercise. For example, the patent suggests sending messages like “do not fear” and “God is with you” when a “user enters a dangerous neighborhood.” [Link]

US9069648, Fig 8
US9069648, Fig 8

eBook “Patent Mining Searches”

I have published an eBook titled “Patent Mining Searches” — it’s available via Amazon.com for any device via Kindle. It’s available for free via Kindle Unlimited.

“Patent Mining Searches” is intended for patent searchers, analysts, and researchers who mine for relevant and valuable patents.

“Patent Mining Searches” is a go-to quick reference, and the book explains:

  • types of patent searches
  • mining search processes
  • mining search tips
  • use of metrics in mining searches
  • search and analysis tools

Patent Mining Searches eBook

Google Patents Widescreen Viewer

UPDATE (Jan 15, 2018): Ian and the great team at Google have rendered this extension unnecessary as of this writing. The sidebar is now collapsible, and there is a search bar on the top. The new figure viewer is very flexible and allows for expanding a figure to the needed width. There has also been a big JavaScript refactor and use of gzip to speed up page loading significantly. Excellent work!


Today I published a new Chrome browser extension called “Google Patents Widescreen” that makes Google Patents (patents.google.com/patent/) much more readable. The left-side search column is hidden, the text area is widened, and images are provided at greater resolution for readability.

A resolution width of 1920 works very well, though all narrower widths also provide improved readability.

Once it’s installed in Chrome, you don’t need to do anything — all Google Patents patent pages (with this syntax: patents.google.com/patent/) will automatically be modified for alternate presentation.

Note that the extension doesn’t send out any data, and in fact there’s no JavaScript — it’s purely just formatting tweaks.

Here’s the different in presentation from the normal view versus the extension’s enhanced view:

Google Patents Widescreen viewer
Google Patents Widescreen viewer

Over-the-air wireless data frame capture

Patent analysis often involves investigating how a particular solution functions in order to determine the potential for use of a given patented claim, and sometimes this investigation entails analyzing wirelessly-communicated data.

In an earlier post I described how to capture IP packets sent to/from wireless devices by using a Windows OS computer as a wireless hotspot together with Wireshark, a packet capture and analysis software tool. While that technique works well for capturing and analyzing IP packets communicated between a wireless device on the wireless LAN (WLAN) and a remote server, that technique does not capture lower-level point-to-point MAC frames communicated between devices on the WLAN, such as between the hotspot computer and a wireless device or between two wireless devices connected to the WLAN.

Within a WLAN, devices do not need to leverage transport or network packets (e.g., TCP/IP) to communicate with one another since they are on a shared medium and so can use the data link instead. To capture the frames sent on the shared wireless medium, there is another process I can recommend. This process provides for capturing communicated frames, such as between a computer application and a smartphone on the WLAN. The guidance below presumes that you have permission to capture wireless frames transmitted over the wireless network.

  1. Fire up an unencrypted IEEE 802.11g wireless access point on a channel that is free or the least crowded. The “g” aspect is important, because newer protocols such as “n” and “ac” complicate capture due to variables like channel width and spatial streams. Having the access point be passcode-free and unencrypted is important as well because it allows for reading frames in the clear (presuming no other encryption is used for the transported data), though it is possible to use Wireshark to decrypt encrypted channels if you know the credentials — this is not covered herein.
  2. Boot Kali Linux on a computer. Kali is a Linux distribution with tools built in for performing penetration testing.
  3. Connect a wireless adapter that support IEEE 802.11g along with “monitor mode.” An example is Panda’s PAU05 300Mbps Wireless 802.11n USB Adapter — I have found that this particular adapter works well. Some other monitor mode wireless adapters that may function well are listed here and here.
  4. Use Kali built-in tools like airmon-ng and airodump-ng to monitor Wi-Fi channels and capture data while your devices under test are communicating. This further article on passive Wi-Fi connection sniffing provides alternate, but similar, techniques in deep detail.
  5. Once you have captured the sequence of data you wish, discontinue the capture and open the resulting “PCAP” file in Wireshark, which is conveniently preloaded in the Kali Linux distribution. In Wireshark you can analyze the data there.

Obviously much more could be written about each of the tools and protocols above, and indeed, books have been written about each. However, here you have a short list of high-level steps to perform for passive Wi-Fi data sniffing, along with a complete set of the hardware and software you will need.

For potential future discussion is packet capture in a wired network, such as via Ethernet.

 

EPO Patent Information Conference

For the past few years I have enjoyed attending the European Patent Office’s (EPO) annual Patent Information Conference, which is held in a different European city each year. In 2015 it was based in Copenhagen, and in 2016 it was held in Madrid. This year (2017) it is held in Sofia, Bulgaria. There are several training sessions along with discussion rounds covering a variety of topics, such as patent-related searches, freedom to operate assessments, patent analytics, patent asset monitoring, and of course patent information and evaluation tools. As described in an earlier post about European patents, as a US-based patent analyst I find it beneficial to continue to stay informed about the latest developments in European patent law and data. This annual conference provides me with the opportunity to learn, and I also have met many great patent professionals at these conference events. Additionally, there are dozens of excellent exhibitors showing off their latest patent information and analysis software and services.

Europe is my home away from home, and I love spending time there and exploring new cities, as well as learning from peers. This conference is also relatively inexpensive compared to most patent conferences in the US.

Please let me know if you plan to attend this year’s (or any future year’s) EPO Patent Information Conference, and I can plan to meet you for a chat.