Last night I gave a talk to the East London Inventors Club, and on the 11th I will be giving the same talk at the Croydon Round Table of Inventors.
"My life in patents" told about my 25 years as a librarian working in inventions, with some anecdotes, and then about the main problems involved with devising a patent search strategy, ending with two case studies showing how relevant patents might be identified by using keywords and classifications.
I am glad to say that the East London members are a lively bunch, and I was frequently asked questions or "interrupted" -- no shrinking violets they. I spoke for about an hour and then spent a further hour talking to individual members about their inventions, and making suggestions. Those suggestions often came down to using a patent attorney to drafting the specification, asking the British Library's Business and Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) to carry out a priced search, or visiting the BIPC to understand how to use databases and to get other help. It's a lonely furrow to plough if you don't get expert help.
I had a great time and I think the members appreciated it. I enjoy giving ad hoc advice in such situations, as it is so important that no inventor feels isolated. That's why it's so important that private inventors join clubs as the more experienced members, in my experience, are generous with their time.