How Sports Are Like the Patent Industry

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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 installments: #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5, and #6 (about common patent application mistakes). Previously, my cousin Stevie filled in. 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!

Strange days are among us. Kobe Bryant was swept out of the NBA playoffs while the Heat advanced, my beloved Red Wings almost came back from a 3-1 deficit, only to lose by a goal in the end, and Norm MacDonald is back on television. Furthermore, I’m flabbergasted that a solution to one of the issues I have been complaining about, namely proximity operators in Google Patents, has actually been around for some time, and having recently tried it out, it even works (really well, actually). I’m still unsure of why Google didn’t tell us about this; maybe even put it in the Help files. Sure, Google doesn’t think we would want to search in any way that isn’t super simple, but not everyone is amused by the dramatic look of a gopher or one of the strangest songs ever known. I’m so startled by this Google revelation, I don’t know if I can ever complain again. But let’s give it a try anyway, even if it is only a slight grumble……

In honor of sports and the Champions League final, (which my fifth cousin Wayne will be participating in), I’ve done a comprehensive analysis of sports, and determined areas where sports relate to the patent realm.


Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings remind me of patent search systems. Sometimes they are at the top of their game, working flawlessly; other times they are infuriating, producing bad results and crashing on you.

Professional Lacrosse
Lacrosse is like the patent business in general. Everyone knows about the sport (patents), but no one (apart from those deep in it) knows what actually goes on or how to get involved.

Tiger Woods
Tiger’s fame and personality led him to become isolated to the world and his family, resulting in a monumental personal and professional collapse. With a still-shaky economy throughout the world, the only way for us to prevent our own personal and professional collapses is to get out there and learn new things. For those of us in the patent profession, if we learn more about areas outside our given responsibilities, we become less isolated and more likely to succeed in whatever we do.

Sergio Busquets (FC Barcelona)
One of the lynchpins in Barcelona’s midfield, Busquets is best known for flopping to the ground after minimal contact, like he has been shot by a sniper. His blatant and consistent diving is one of the reasons Americans are put off by soccer. Sergio, you are better than that and don’t need to do it. I think of this anytime I see bickering and personal attacks going on in various patent forums, either online or in person. Constructive criticism and debates are one thing, they can improve us, but personal attacks are another. We are all better than that.

Next time: Danny asks Wayne to stop with the twittering…and is never heard from again.

Patent Information 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.

11 Responses

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  2. […] previous installments: #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5, #6 (about common patent application mistakes), and #7. This post is based on a fictitious character, and readers should be aware of the underlying snark […]

  3. […] and third Thursdays of the month. Here are our previous installments: #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5, #6, #7, and #8. Think of this post as a way to have fun and let loose–no frustration here this […]

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