Patent information from centres of excellence


Ron Kaminecki

Finding prior art information usually involves searches by subject terms or class codes and can quite often involve patent assignees and inventors as subject terms. Ron Kaminecki explains.

Instead of trying to locate a corpus of relevant documents, it may be useful to find a physical centre of excellence where work is conducted and then look for publications that come out of it.

A centre of excellence can not only be a great source of conference papers and printed publications, but also of expert witnesses or technical advisors with the equipment, facilities, or environment necessary to pursue pointed scientific research that may be relevant to a patent searcher. Occasionally there may be a piece of unique equipment at the site which could be used for further investigation in a patent dispute, for instance.

As an example, there is a school of mining at the University of Witwatersrand which is right next to one of the largest mountainous gold deposits in the world. The RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science location in Kobe, Japan, is the site of the world’s most powerful supercomputer. And why would the Nevada Desert Research Center be anywhere but in the middle of the Mojave Desert?

Centres of excellence, prior art, RIKEN, supercomputers, ProQuest, Community of scholars