Expert Patent Searchers are Tenacious Detectives
Sherlock Holmes would have likely been an excellent patent searcher. With his dedication to pursuing every clue and his enjoyment of the process of solving problems, he would have fit in well on any search team. In this article, we cover the critical role that being a tenacious detective plays in the performance of outstanding patent searches.
Why is Being a Detective So Important?
Performing excellent searches is not easy. But it is easier for searchers who act as tenacious detectives. These searchers are excited by the thrill of the hunt and dedicated to finding the best possible results. They are competitive and driven to solve problems because when they do, that means that they “win”. They want to perform better than the customer would if they did the search themselves or if the search was done by a different search provider.
Many searches present a series of apparent dead ends. It’s not a simple process of developing and reviewing an initial, single list of documents and then preparing the report. Success requires an active, iterative process with a searcher confronting many puzzling questions along the way. Finding answers to these questions inspires, rather than demoralizes, the excellent searcher. These detectives will continue to push further, challenging results in pursuit of the truth and overcoming the obstacles they face along the way. They will keep an open mind without jumping to conclusions, striving to piece together the elusive clues that lead to valuable discoveries in high-stakes situations.
Putting on their detective hat positions the excellent searcher to perform well in every aspect of search delivery, giving them an edge over searchers who lack this characteristic.
Why is Being a Tenacious Detective a Must Throughout the Search Process?
Being a tenacious detective is important at every stage of a search. It ensures that the searcher does everything possible within the time available to provide each customer with the best possible outcome.
As a searcher tackles a project, some of the questions that they will address as they do their detective work include:
- Have I looked beyond the obvious at other technologies?
- Have I considered non-traditional resources for non-patent literature that are likely to be good sources for references for this technology?
- Do I need to adjust the next stage of the search based on these unexpected interim results? And do I need to get more input from the customer?
- Have I properly categorized the central and peripheral references?
The searcher who behaves like a tenacious detective eagerly approaches these and any other unique questions that come up during any specific search.
Can Being a Detective Be Taught?
It is difficult to teach the drive and determination required for an excellent searcher to be a tenacious detective. However, this competitive, questioning mindset can be cultivated and encouraged over time through mentoring and guidance from experienced peers and more senior team members. CPA Global’s in-depth analyst training program provides every member of our search team with the tools and knowledge needed to support the “Sherlock Holmes” approach to searching. As a searcher applies these skills over time, in conjunction with their goal of being a tenacious detective, their performance progressively improves.
Taken to an extreme, pursuing the detective’s approach can be a liability. “Detective searchers” are relentless, and they sometimes don’t want to stop searching until they find the ultimate winning reference. This drive must be balanced with understanding when it’s time to stop. Our managers mentor our searchers to help them find the balance needed to both exercise their detective’s drive effectively to find the best references and meet the client’s objective within the time and budget available.
The need for excellent searchers to act as detectives is one way in which searching is both an art and a science. CPA Global’s entire search team consistently performs projects with the approach of tenacious detectives, adding an extra layer of assurance to customers that they will be getting the best results possible.