My company has built a patent search tool with some new and exciting functionality that could be useful.

I want to answer questions on this site using the tool, and test the tool based on feedback.

This could be very much considered guerrilla marketing, and I wanted to know if that is okay.

Here is what I would be doing:

  1. Find a question that my tool can answer.
  2. Do the necessary searches.
  3. Write up a quick summary of the search (IANAL).
  4. Provide a link to view the reports the tool has generated (they are interactive).
  5. Listen to the feedback and use it to improve the tool.

Any input as to whether this would be okay? I am a software engineer, not an attorney or marketing person.

Upon request, I'll answer any additional questions you have about the tool.

1 Answer 1


This is tricky. If folks were asking questions about your tool, it would be well within the scope of this site to answer it as one of its developers. But when folks are explicitly seeking out questions simply to find opportunities to link to their product, they are likely probably here for the wrong reasons.

I appreciate the help, but the community frowns on posts that contain a preponderance of self-promotion and will down-vote it and flag it as spam. If a huge percentage of your posts include a mention of your product or website, it's not going to go over well with the community. If some happens to ask about you product, certainly feel free to answer, but any type of "astroturfing" or guerrilla marketing is not an acceptable use of this site.

I'm sorry I don't have a better answer or solution for you.

  • That's rather unfortunate. A reasonable stab at a prior art search (even a naive one) takes about 20 seconds, and I saw a great opportunity to help a lot of folks while getting some real world examples. How about if I were to omit any mention of the product? No link, no name. I'm really just looking to test it. Obviously, it appears that free and subscription up-sell based tools (Google Patent, ESpaceNet) are accepted as part of the community. How does one inject into that space?
    – Lomilar
    Jun 30, 2015 at 16:25
  • 1
    @Lomilar Answering questions is absolutely on topic and perfectly welcomed here. Google Patents is often referenced as the primary provider of public patent search. That's not really the same thing as someone from Google (for example) coming here to push that service specifically. Jun 30, 2015 at 16:44
  • providing answer to question is very much within scope of our community but based on our moderator interactions like Mathew and Robert I came to know its not really answer that matters, we need to provide ways or solution to all such generic questions so that everyone else having same problem can solve its own by reading the well sourced post. As your tool will be subscription based it would be not helpful for community growth. You have several other blogs and social network to engage audience provide them access and ask for review. Best of luck.
    – Pushpak
    Jul 3, 2015 at 7:43
  • A user may provide links to a web site via their profile, and possibly mention the software in their profile, e.g. "I'm the lead developer for quikpatentsearch.com'". Good posts will attract positive attention to a profile. Keep that information limited to the profile because, to reiterate what Robert said, anything that is perceived as astroturfing in a post is considered spam.
    – Parker
    Jul 20, 2015 at 13:06

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