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User Research for Improving Patent Examination Tools Marti Hearst Chief IT Strategist, USPTO (on leave from UC Berkeley) October 26, 2010 1 Outline

Recent Events at the USPTO The Patents End-to-End Project Results of User Research (so far) User interfaces generally Search in particular

How can Researchers Help? 2 Today, Change is the Status Quo at the USPTO

3 Today, Change is the Status Quo at the USPTO 4 Today, Change is the Status Quo at the USPTO

In the last year: Changes in how examination is done More hires of examiners with IP background New ideas for accelerating certain patents reviews Three-track examination, green tech pilot, humanitarian tech Increased transparency Regular blog posts, Facebook

Patents Dashboard Peer to Patent 2 (to appear) Discussion tools First Chief Economist for the PTO Started Patents End-to-End IT! 5 The Current IT System

Based on TIFF images rather than text Antiquated code base (Cobol) Expensive to maintain Difficult to extend Examiners use ~20 stove-piped interfaces

6 7 8 9 10

East/West Sample Queries [COMMAND:Search] S(MRI.TI. AND ("324"/$).CCLS. AND "2010".PY.).#USOC,#USPT,#PGPB. [COMMAND:Search] S((historic near8 (information or regist$ or acqui$ or transmi$))).#pgpb,#uspt,. [COMMAND:Search] S("7220634".PN. AND 12).#USPT. [COMMAND:Search] S(historic).#pgpb,#uspt,#usoc,#epab,#jpab,#dwpi,#tdbd. [COMMAND:Search] S((information or regist$ or acqui$ or

transmi$)).#pgpb,#uspt,#usoc,#epab,#jpab,#dwpi,#tdbd. [COMMAND:Search] S(3 AND (IDENTIF$4 OR ID)).#USOC,#DWPI,#TDBD,#EPAB,#JPAB,#FPRS,#USPT,#PGPB. [COMMAND:Search] S(((1) and (2))).#pgpb,#uspt,#usoc,#epab,#jpab,#dwpi,#tdbd. [COMMAND:Search] S(historic).#pgpb,#uspt,#usoc,#epab,#jpab,#dwpi,#tdbd. COMMAND:Search] S((((MONEY OR WIRE OR FUND) NEAR3 TRANSFER$4) WITH (SENDER AND (RECIPIENT OR RECEIVER))) AND ((RECIPIENT OR RECEIVER) WITH BIOMETRIC) AND

@AD<"20070117").#USOC,#TDBD... [COMMAND:Search] S((information or regist$ or acqui$ or transmi$)).#pgpb,#uspt,#usoc,#epab,#jpab,#dwpi,#tdbd. 11 East/West Query Operator Statistics Sample size

198031 AND 129684 PN 69007

Wildcard ($) 31711 OR 28181 NEAR

17353 WITH 14040 Class/subclass 13796

SAME 11416 ADJ 10097 DATE

4689 NOT 2043 CLAIM 1796

XOR 3 12 The Vision for PE2E Capabilities:

Accept, manage, search, and publish XML-based applications New text search tools, and up-to-date version of EAST New image search tools New pre-examination tools and linguistic analysis tools Integrated collaboration tool Based on open standards Flexible, extensible, maintainable

Agile Development: Enhancements delivered in weeks rather than months or years! 13 Designing in Parallel New Software Architecture Test Latest Tools

Search, ling, viz, etc User Research design IT right Process Re-engineering Prototype for happy path, then build version 1.0

Text and Image Search tool testing Clickable prototypes for core functionality Reviewing and streamlining all patent-related processes 14

design IT right User-Centered Design for the new User Interfaces Business Goals: Tasks Analysis: Survey (online or paper)

Interviews, Focus Groups, and Online Input Iterative Testing Of Mocked-up and Clickable Interface Prototypes

15 User Research To Date

Focus groups and interviews with more than 50 examiners Focus groups with supervisors Surveys on goals, search (> 300 participants each) A timed study of old system Lots of free-text comments on blog posts and surveys 16 What Examiners Want:

One Seamless, Integrated UI A system that is smart about their work Automatically fills in structured information e.g., bibliographic information Automatically checks for consistency, errors, etc Warn if too many references used for this statute Suggests queries, thesaurus terms, art to look at based on what this user has done in the past

e.g.: automatically surface commonly used MPEP passages based on what others with similar goals have done based on an application or set of documents 17 What Examiners Want:

One Seamless, Integrated UI Allows annotation and sharing Ability to tag and annotate art, Office Actions, figures, paragraphs Ability to create sets of documents, thesaurus terms, etc Search over everything seamlessly

Including annotations, tags, on everything Including different kinds of document groups Associated with this office action Associated with this patent family 18 What Examiners Want: Improved Search

Fast Most important feature for all aspects of PE2E NPL integrated Only write the query once, in one place Only one query language to learn

Results are integrated with patent search results References immediately accessible Including foreign patents Including books Fast translations, better translations (in some cases) 19

What Examiners Want: Improved Search Use relevant context Show queries Ive used, others have used in this situation Show documents Ive used, others have used in this situation Use these as a starting point, and expand out

Intelligent search as an option Have suggested art ready when the case is opened Allow selection of a piece of text (claim, etc) and automatically search for related content Improved search over specialized information (ranges, equations, drawings) Show highlighted, relevant snippets from the full text in the

search results 20 Social Search Examiners can benefit from a system that lets them leverage the knowledge and

work of others This may be where the new system innovates most 21 User Research Results: Goal Survey 22

Comments on the Directors Blog 23 Comments on the Directors Blog 24

Search Survey 25 Search Survey 26 Search Survey

27 Search Survey 28 Search Survey 29

Search Survey 30 Search Survey 31 Search Survey

32 Search Survey 33 Search Survey 34

Search Survey 35 Search Survey 36 Search Survey

37 Search Survey 38 How Can Researchers Help?

Relevant evaluations of current tools and Inventing new tools For comparing fragments of text For precisely finding documents that are similar, taking inventive concept into account For doing image similarity comparisons For synonym expansion

39 Three Initial UI Designs Posted a solicitation for UI design firms summarizing the user research so far. Received initial designs in response, for

which we are selecting a set to evaluate. 40 41 42 Guided Query Construction

43 44 45 46 47

Thank you! 48

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