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Featured Researcher: dsarokin

sarokin-anime-largeThis month’s Featured Researcher, dsarokin, comes to us from Washington, DC in the US. He is currently an ecologist for the US federal government with a Masters of Science in Marine Biology. His experience in patent research stems from running an “online research service that does everything from family history to market research. [They]’ve handled a smattering of prior art work in the past, but [his] work with AOP is really taking things to the next level.”

Dsarokin says that his most useful skill for research with Article One is “making use of the deep, dark corners of the Internet…the resources that don’t show up in a typical Google search, but that offer valuable content for patent work.” He is also lucky to have “access to commercial databases, like Lexis and Proquest.”

“I’m plugged into to an active network of people who do a lot of Internet-related research, and one of them mentioned AOP as “worth a look”. Indeed, it was.”

When asked what he loves most about being an Article One Researcher, he replied, “Like Sherlock Holmes is fond of saying, “The game is afoot!”. I like the hunt for obscure information, I like getting 3’s and 4’s and 5’s on my rankings (and boo-hiss on the 1’s and 2’s), and I sure do love winning an award for finding just the right prior art on a particular patent.”

Dsarokin believes that the most challenging aspect of being an AOP Researcher is making sense of the patents. He uses “Google, in all its variations” and finds “Google Images a great source of screenshots when [he is] searching for software-related information. Proquest has a terrific and deep collection of technical articles, which also is very valuable.” Since joining Article One, he has learned the “importance of synonyms, especially as language changes over time. What one source calls e-commerce, another calls ecash, or cybermoney, or electronic buying, or…a dozen other options. They all need to be searched. There’s even a substantial difference between “barcode” and “bar code” as far as search results go.”

He offers the following three tips to new Researchers:

  1. “Take advantage of feedback. Your rankings and the occasional Leads are good clues as to what works and what doesn’t.”
  2. “Stick with it. Sooner or later, you’ll find that magic resource that takes the top prize.”
  3. “Stretch out. Try researching some technology areas you’re not too familiar with. Sometimes a fresh perspective is just the ticket.”

While searching for prior art, dsarokin has “really gotten a kick out of reliving some of the early days and seemingly ancient tools of the Internet. As [he has] researched, [he has] come across Archie and telenet and Gopher and things that aren’t very old, really, but make you realize how quickly and dramatically the online world has changed.” He plans on using his reward money on gifts for his family for the holiday season.

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