What you’ll discover:
Efficient Internet Searching
For innovators, patents provide significant protection and greater rights enforcement. Yet, before you can acquire that patent, you must first apply for it. Depending on the kind of patent you seek, it might cost several thousand dollars and take years to get. And nothing is refundable. To prevent wasting time and money, you should check the USPTO for existing and pending patents. Then you can ensure that your patent is one-of-a-kind.
Table of Contents
When possible, do an in-person patent search. This enables you to be as comprehensive as possible. The USPTO’s Patent and Trademark Resource Centers contain patent files in all major cities. It’s simpler to take notes on existing patents and modify or evolve your own innovation when you can examine the real hard copy files. It should be noted that patent records cannot be borrowed from the library.
Look it up on the internet.
The USPTO Patent Full Text Database is another alternative. This database provides several search possibilities as well as full-page photos if desired. Searches in the online database are normally quicker, but it’s difficult to discern if there has been a system issue. Always do at least two searches to ensure you haven’t overlooked anything. One disadvantage of the Patent Full Text Database is that it might be sluggish at times. It’s very finicky about wording and search phrases. Thankfully, Google offers its own patent search, which allows you to do a free search of the patent database without having to deal with the USPTO’s peculiarities.
One of the reasons individuals use patent lawyers is that patent searches, especially when done online, take time. A shortcut is provided by the databases: you may search by patent number. A patent number search, on the other hand, will not assist you identify all of the related patents or patents that perform similar activities. To check additional categories, you’ll have to depend on fast and sophisticated searches. Here are a few pointers to help you in your search:
It is critical to have accurate records. Otherwise, you’ll end yourself repeating yourself or forgetting crucial concepts.
Make a list of keywords and phrases that may be relevant to your patent. Next, for each one, begin your investigation.
Attempts to batch keywords should be avoided. That saves you time but reduces your accuracy.
Make a note of your findings. There will be a lot of overlap, so keep track of what you’ve looked for and what you’ve discovered so you don’t miss anything vital.
One of the first steps you should take before submitting a patent application is to ensure that your innovation or design is unique. If you follow this process, you will save a lot of time and money, but don’t be shocked if it takes a long. You must be meticulous. You have the option of doing it online or in person. Remember to maintain solid notes and monitor your outcomes so you don’t have to start again. If you have any doubts, see a patent attorney.