Interview with Patent Searcher Martin Keller
Recently I received a calendar from professional patent searcher Martin Keller. On each month of the calendar is a patent drawing that is very unique.
So I contacted him because I wanted to thank him for sending me the calendar and see if he would answer a couple questions about preliminary “prior art” patentability searches.
Well here are a few of the “unique patent drawings” from patents that he came across over the years. If you click on the patent drawing it will bring you to a PDF of the entire patent.
Thanks again to Martin for his insight and gracious response to my questions regarding patent searching.
How long have you been employed as a patent searcher?
Since 1985 I have conducted a few thousand patent searches in my career, starting in the “paper only” days – all the way up to the present EAST system.
Have you had a lot of people come to you with regard to the same so called invention and you can just say hey I searched that one before and I know that is already out there? Like the self pasting toothbrush or the flip flop with an interchangeable toe piece?
Just did it the other day for a baby bottle with musical attachment that turns on when the bottle is tilted. Done this search – in a variety of ways. patent: 7134932
What types of things do you look for outside the particular classification of the invention, for example if someone came to you with a reel for a fishing rod would you look at reels on a sewing machine?
I look at all analogous art. I conduct every type patent search from a simple mechanical or electrical novelty search to validity and infringement studies and heavy duty chemical searches.
Since everything now is computerized do you conduct most of your searches online? Do you find that Google patents is a good searching tool? How does it compare with United States Patent and Trademark Office (see step by step search strategy) web page regarding searching?
Google patents is only a fair tool. Better than the USPTO site.
Do you use use other search engines or websites such as IP.com as well? Do you ever actually go to the patent office anymore and search?
I go into the PTO every day and use EAST – the same system the examiners use. Nothing and I mean Nothing even comes close to EAST. In fact, the times when I find 102 art quickly on EAST – all other online databases fall very short.
Does anybody go through the old “paper shoes” and make searches? Do you ever make contact with an examiner and discuss the invention with an examiner?
No- all paper shoes are gone from the PTO. And on difficult searches I always consult an examiner.
Professional Patent Searcher
1940 Duke St., Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
email: [email protected]
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