Our featured Researcher this month is Gina B. from California, USA. Gina first discovered Article One through a posting on Craigslist a year ago and has been working as a Researcher ever since! She has won a number of Rewards since joining the Community, and also participates regularly in our FlashSource Studies.
Currently working as an administrative assistant, Gina has a B.A. in sociology from UC Berkley and has spent years as a Litigation Paralegal. For five years, she was a paralegal specifically defending patent litigation cases. As she explains, her “work on litigation cases provided [her] with experience reviewing patents and examining prior art as we prepared infringement and invalidity arguments.”
Thanks to her career, she has spent several years focused on research. “My paralegal work has always required me to track down information be it prior art, an address, a business, a phone number, a person, a legal precedent to cite, or a scholarly article to use at an expert deposition,” she explains. “Sometimes you have to be creative to find things and imagine what others would categorize information under, or how they would describe or classify something.”
What does Gina enjoy most about being an AOP Researcher? “Freedom!” she says. “I love that I can telecommute and do the work on my schedule from anywhere.” She also enjoys competing against other Researchers and the results-based Reward payment structure.
Since joining as an AOP Researcher, Gina has “learned how to dig deeper and follow a trail of crumbs to information relevant to what I’m looking for,” she explains. “I’ve also learned to focus on the claims that truly make the technology in the patent unique so I can separate the in-scope art from the simply relevant art.” This is a crucial research technique that is key to success at Article One!
She uses a wide variety of resources, including USPTO and WIPO databases, Google Scholar, and more narrow-focused resources like PubMed and IEEE Xplore to conduct her research. Gina has also realized that masters’ theses and other graduate student works can be great reference submissions. “It’s funny how many dissertations were published years before a patent was filed and yet are directly relevant to the technology in question,” she notes.
When she wins Rewards, Gina likes to support worthy causes through her favorite charity, DonorsChoose! “I love being able to help a school start a Lego robotics program or chess team or start a math & science club for girls,” she says. “It’s like helping to inspire the next generation of patent holders!”
Gina’s Top 3 Tips for New Researchers:
1) Try a few areas of technology out to discover your strong suits and then stick with those Studies
2) Don’t skip over research that is past the prior art date; it often cites earlier, relevant art
3) Think of different words that mean the same thing. The same technology is often described differently.