Do I Need To Do A Patent Search Before I File An Application?

A patent search can be one the first step in the patent process, and its importance should not be overlooked. In order to patent an invention, it must be novel. The best way evaluate the originality of your idea is to conduct a patent search.

In addition to determining if someone else already has a patent for your idea, a patent search also aids the patent process is several other ways. For example:

  • The results of a patent search can help you refine your design.
  • The results of a patent search can help ensure that your product does not infringe on other products.
  • The results of a patent search are integral to completing the patent application process.
  • The results of a patent search can provide an early indication of the likelihood of your patent being granted.

Thanks to technology, it is now possible to conduct a basic patent search on the Internet. You can search the texts or claims of patents for free on the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) website. The USPTO’s system allows you to:

  • Search U.S. patents dating back to 1976
  • Search U.S. patent applications dating back to March 2001,
  • Perform bibliographic searches (to find out the name, title of invention, or patent number) of patents dating back to 1790.

However, you need to keep track of any documents that may be related to your patent application filing.  You are under a duty to disclose, and in fact sign a document that states that will disclose, any document that may affect the patentablility of you invention.

How I Can Help

This article is  a broad overview of patents and patent searches. If you are seeking to patent an invention, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.  You can also connect with me on Google +.

– Ex astris, scientia –

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