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The three words any modern professional lives by: network, network, network. IP Professionals are constantly looking for new avenues to meet prospective clients and business partners, discuss the latest IP-related news and trends, and learn about employment and continuing education opportunities. You can (and should) join any professional organizations relevant to your field, but the cost of membership to multiple organizations can begin to add up. Where can an IP professional find free networking opportunities that won’t break the bank?
Thanks to the model of social networking platforms like Facebook and Wikipedia, IP Professionals now can choose from a variety of free online communities that connect users interested in IP-related issues. Read on to learn about four unique social networks dedicated to intellectual property, where registration is fee-free!
Of course I’m going to recommend Intellogist, which is dedicated to creating a worldwide patent community through social networking and high-quality content. Intellogist hosts system reports by Landon IP search experts who give detailed descriptions and comparisons of major patent-related search systems, like PatBase and Espacenet. Registered users can add to the content of the site by writing or editing community reports on search systems or updating the glossary section with articles on IP terms. There is also a forum where users can discuss patent searching techniques and tools. Intellogist is a great resource for both veteran patent searchers and users new to the IP field!
If Intellogist is the IP equivalent of Wikipedia, then ipInsiders is the IP equivalent of Facebook. The ipInsiders social network, created by Mikk Putk, was formerly known as IP Estonia. We’ve talked about the IP Estonia toolbar that users can download to help with their intellectual property searches. ipInsiders allows users to register and create their own profile, and registered users can create blog posts and events which they can promote to the whole ipInsider community. ipInsiders is highly integrated with other social media platforms, so users can share ipInsider posts on Myspace, Twitter, del.icio.us, Facebook, StumbleUpon, or Digg. Users can also add their Twitter profiles to a list that appears on the ipInsiders homepage. This site is an excellent place to connect with other IP professionals and promote or learn about IP-related opportunities and news.
Patexia is an intriguing new site that offers a variety of content, including a useful visualization tool for patent data and a blossoming IP community. Registered users can share IP news, comment on blog posts, or review and comment on specific patents. The most interesting feature of this new IP network is the ability to search for specific US patents and write reviews on the patents. Other users can then read the patent reviews under the “IP Reviews” tab, and they can comment on or share your review through Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, or Facebook. The ability to review patents in Patexia is similar to the user-added content (tags and comments) on the WikiPatents website. Registration for WikiPatents costs $14.95, however, while registration and use of Patexia is free.
Many IP-related groups exist on LinkedIn, so for the sake of brevity, I’ll focus on one of the largest IP-related groups with over 18,000 members: Intellectual Property Professionals (IP Pro). IP Pro is a closed group, so users must be approved by a group administrator before they can view or interact with the group. After approval, users can post IP-related discussions, view a members directory, and post or search promotions and jobs. One of the best features of the Linked-In groups is the email update that members periodically receive with information on active and popular discussions. Members can keep an eye on interesting trends and topics in the IP community by reading these email updates and interacting on the discussion board.
Other popular IP and patent-related LinkedIn groups include Intellectual Property Networking, Patent and Intellectual Property Practitioners, Patent Landscaping Innovations, Patent Litigation, Patent Researchers, Patents – Intellectual Property, PATINFORMATICS, INTA Group on LI (International Trademark Association) and Patent Informatics Group.
More Networking Opportunities?
IP Professionals can’t work in isolation. We need to stay up-to-date on the latest news, laws, and trends in order to effectively do our jobs, and our peers are excellent sources for IP-related information. You can network with other IP professionals through professional organizations, but you can also network in a more casual online setting. The online communities listed above provide unique opportunities for collaboration and discussion between IP professionals, but these sites are only the tip of a social networking iceberg. Do you know of other online communities created for IP professionals? Let us know in the comments!
This post was contributed by Joelle Mornini. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company Landon IP, a major provider of patent searches, trademark searches, technical translations, and information retrieval services.