Tricks of the Trade: Searching the unsearchable

Patent searching is already black magic, wrapped in a puzzle, inside an enigma, passing through a black box, and thinking about how something could be unsearchable is an extra layer you just don’t need, so, how do you find something you can’t search for?   To assist, I’ll define what I consider unsearchable.  It’s essentially

Tricks of the Trade: There’s a word for that (and usually many more)

When Winston Churchill said, “broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all”, he (most likely) wasn’t speaking about the words found in patent specifications.  However, in saying that, he is both right and wrong.   Old, short words would be described today as “plain English”.  Describing something in

Tricks of the trade: Keep calm and classify

You’re probably already lacing up your running shoes at the very thought of the mention of the International Patent Classification (IPC), but please stick around; I promise this will be almost painless.   If you’re like me, your introduction to the IPC was a seemingly random string of letters and numbers rolling off someone’s tongue. 

Tricks of the trade: Can you just do a quick search on …?

I often hear that a patent search won’t take long, or it will be a small search, or get asked to do a quick search, and in some cases that’s probably right, but in other cases, by which I mean most, things are not always as small as they appear.  I’m going to risk expulsion