Top 5 Patent Search System Annoyances: Gear Grinder #4


Introductory Note: Welcome back to “Gear Grinder with Danny Rooney.” We aim to bring this series to you on the first and third Thursdays of the month. Here are our previous three installments. This post is based on a fictitious character, and readers should be aware of the underlying snark and sarcasm. Just think of it as a way to have fun and let loose with some frustrations with life as a patent professional. We know you can relate!

It’s March Madness time in the Rooney household, and that’s not only due to the brace from my little neighbor to the south on Tuesday. For those of you who may be unaware, March Madness is the NCAA basketball tournament, where everyone takes the day off work (can you say “sick day?”) to watch and illegally bet on basketball. No William Hills here (for our British friends), as our country doesn’t take too kindly to vices like gambling if it involves actual money. Pair March Madness with St. Patrick’s Day and our country is going into stimulation overload. Buy Guinness stock today, but make sure you sell by tomorrow! Since the Madness is making me slightly mad, I made of list of my top five patent search system annoyances. More after the jump…


1. Slow loading times and freeze-ups
Much like Bill Gates, I’m convinced that search systems go slowly and freeze up at the most inopportune times. I would love a search system that quickly brings up results without freezing or any load issues (images missing, page not loading completely, etc). Some of the more bare bones systems do this, but sadly they don’t include other features that are critical for a good search.

2. Timing out
As with slow load times, timing out from the system is just a pain. I appreciate that security can be an issue, but if I am at work, I should have a setting that keeps me logged in for several hours without activity (in case I have to do something important, like, you know, illegal gambling on basketball games).

3. Lack of mosaics in a scrolling view
If you are viewing anything mechanical, a quick way to search through mosaics is essential–preferably using your scroll wheel, without having to click on each document because anything else takes at least 3 times as long.

4. Search results that appear out of nowhere
How many times have you been searching for a red rubber bathtub ducky, and seen that phantom patent related to novel compositions using zinc oxide? I’m not sure why that result is there, and things like that shouldn’t show up in the first place.

5. Incorrect paragraph or column/line citations, especially for translations
This is the holy grail for missing information in patent systems. If there was a way to reliably have the paragraph, page/line numbers, or column/line numbers show up in the full text view, then the creator of such technology would be lauded as a genius and saluted by patent searchers everywhere.

Got to go, Morehead is up on Louisville, which means I will lose my home if that result holds. [Editor's note: Danny has surely lost his home, as Morehead St. beat Louisville. We look forward to receiving your next post from the mean streets!]

Next week: Danny is questioned by the Feds for betting one super-gazillion on basketball.

P.S. We’d love to hear your annoyances in the comments below!

Patent Analysis from Landon IP

This post was contributed by Registered Patent Agent Dan Wolka. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company, Landon IP, a major provider of patent search, technical translation, and information services.

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16 Responses

  1. I’m not sure if you’d call it a timing out or a freeze up but recently I was trying to run a semi complex priority country and date string through AusPat which kept timing out when I used AU as the country code but would run quite happily using CN, so ???

    I don’t mind some search results turning up out of nowhere. They are there because they match your search string somehow. You still have to check to see if it’s an error in the record or else it may just have been your killer result, and it’s gone.

    • As an aside, I hate the “marketing patent applications” that pop up all the time which contain nothing but keywords designed to show up in search results.

      Thanks for the comment insomniac!

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