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Patent Searching

May 8, 2014 • Deirdre Black

Just attended a fabulous AIIP Webinar on Patent Research presented by Dominic DeMarco, Managing Director, Patent Agent and Researcher at DeMarcoIP.

In addition to speaking on what patents are and are not,  why anyone would search patents, and how to actually do a basic search, DeMarco named the top 6 major commercial databases (with a head nod to the hundreds nipping at their heels) and gave an applied, very detailed tour of one via sample searches. These big 6 are premium resources, but very costly. Interestingly, he also shared information about some equally wonderful premium but free tools as well.

Espacenet is a patent search tool made available at the European Patent Office.  It provides “free access to more than 80 million patent documents worldwide, containing information about inventions and technical developments from 1836 to today.”  But, like the major commercial databases, Espacenet doesn’t have information for all patent areas, so you may wish to use another premium database at WIPO to search those areas.

WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organization  is “a global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation.” It makes its Patentscope tool freely available as well as other valuable, no-fee search tools.

You may be wondering why the US Patent and Trademark Office isn’t the front runner for patent searching. The simple answer is that, although it was a cutting edge tool when first created, it has not been maintained to keep up with the innovations that are featured by latecomers. Nevertheless, it is still an important resource to use, especially with regard to doublechecking the results you obtained elsewhere.

No posts for April

April 1, 2014 • Deirdre Black

April’s a bit too packed with activities and so there will be no posts this month. I’m off to Baltimore for the AIIP conference.  Once I’ve returned, I’ll do the finishing touches on my taxes and then catch up on work that will have piled up.

Women and the Arts

March 30, 2014 • Deirdre Black

It may seem old-fashioned and outdated to encourage those interested in women and the arts to explore quilting but you can learn a lot about the lives of women and the history and cultures of their day by studying the American folkart of quilting.

A great place to begin your investigation is the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The National Quilt Collection, which is part of the museum’s Division of Home and Community Life’s Textile Collection, got its start in the 1890s and has grown to include more than 500 quilts and quilt-related items.  The online exhibit includes more than 162 images as well as information about techniques, fabrics, and designs used.

If that piqued your interest, you may want to study quilts and quilting further or you may choose to investigate what women have been up to in other areas of artistic expression. There’s a lot of talent to explore in the arts and entertainment that goes way back.

American Memory: Women’s History

March 25, 2014 • Deirdre Black

American Memory at the Library of Congress includes the category Women’s History comprising five collections. Items include printed ephemera, books, pamphlets, scrapbooks, and multimedia.  The American Women collection is of particular interest for those investigating women’s history and culture in the United States.

Women’s History Sourcebook

March 18, 2014 • Deirdre Black

I stumbled across the Women’s History Sourcebook via the Internet History Sourcebooks Project hosted at Fordham University. The page was copyrighted by Paul Halsall in November 1998 and last updated on April 16, 2007, but don’t be put off by the dates.  

A distillation from other sourcebooks and organized mostly by country or region,  it provides a nice collection of links to “online documents and secondary discussions which reflect the various ways of looking at the history of women within broadly defined historical periods and areas.”