I thought I would touch on a couple take aways that I have found while doing a patent search regarding my startups upcoming product. Please feel free to comment and add anything that you find more important or if I’ve missed anything crucial (which is quite likely).
The first couple basics to take note of, and when I say take note of, I mean actually write down and record in an excel sheet or word document are:
Patent #: (country where its from #) example: US 2012/02020202
Inventor(s) Name – I like to just put the first name that is listed as that is usually the primary person on the patent but adjust according to your preference
Assignee – company/foundation/university
Patent Date – I have seen references that say that the file date is important as well, but have yet to see why this is pertinent
Related patents – usually provisional patents, or earlier iterations of this design/invention that is drastically different from this design is important to look at just for your knowledge as well as help you further understand the progression of this invention.
Invention title – self-explanatory
Abstract – I like to use this as it gives me a brief summary for my records. I don’t usually write the whole abstract but I take bits and pieces that are important in understanding the overall device.
Invention Description – I use this as a space to describe what I have gleaned from the overall patent information. Mostly description of important claims made and important milestones met for the invention.
Invention Category – This is a nifty location to put in some key phrases to categorize the patent. I find this helpful as it makes me figure out and think about where this invention fits within the space that I am looking.
Software (y/n) – If it is a piece of software, I like to just make note of that because then there are some special considerations to be made regarding its documentation such as platforms made for/standalone?/licensed/sourced/object/executable form etc.
Lastly, I like to put down in my own words how this patent fits into the industry it is invented for as well as any disadvantages and limitations it may have purposefully listed or are not listed but I can criticize from my own knowledge and understanding of the marketplace. And if there are any listed companies within the patent either as suppliers for parts or end customers I record those just so that I know where products are being sourced from and where they are going to if possible.
Hope this helps if you are in need of some guidance in this area. Like I said earlier, if you have any more suggestions please comment as I do not consider this a perfect list and would like to improve it myself if possible.