August 19, 2011

Visual guide for finding prior patent art with SSRN

The Social Science Research Network or SSRN is an incredible collection of journals on a wide variety of subjects.  It's easy to search and best of all it's completely free.
For the purpose of my search for prior art related to touch screens let's check out their Information Systems Network section.  I can navigate there by following the link in the left sidebar. 
This takes us to the ISN homepage, but we're looking to search their journals.  Click the "Subject Matter" link back in the left sidebar. 
With touch screens in mind let's search ISN's Technology and Systems eJounal.
This takes us to the journals home page.
To begin searching follow the link to the eJounal's Electronic Library.
Now we're ready to browse the eJournals Digital Library.
But don't start your search here, if I search for 'touch screen'...
I get no results. Obviously I need search results to search within them.

Instead click the Search button located tool bar at the top of the page.
We're finally ready to start our search, let's try 'touch screen' again.
Only two results, one is promising but I'm looking for art prior to 2005.  Still let's check out the result.
Here are the bibliographic and abstract summary of the article.

It looks very relevant to what I'm searching for though.  Let's download it and check the references for possible earlier prior art.
Since SSRN is free I can download the entire document by following this link just above the article's title.

Let's open it up...scroll down to the references...

5 great pieces of prior patent art and all before 2004! Like most US Patents, I can easily find and download them at Google Patents.  Looks like our one relevant search result wasn't so useless after all.

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