Advice on Patents

 

            Getting A Patent            


 

 

How to Search Existing Patents

 

Free patent search advice.

 First, it helps to know the procedures professionals use for doing a patent search. While it is a complicated topic, using the patent search tips here will make this a much easier process, as well as save you a fair amount of money.

Knowing where to start is often somewhat confusing. For obvious reasons, professional search companies aren't overly interested in providing free advice on patent searches.

The USPTO is very helpful in this regard. All the information needed is provided at no charge.

The patent office maintains a database available to everyone, and armed with a list of search terms you'll be able to do much of the leg work yourself.

Take note of the results you get back, ( I find having a spreadsheet open is a great way to list results). Once you develop a list of patents that have been returned, go through the list by entering each patent number into the database and reviewing the existing patent. A good place to start is by checking the prior art. That's the term for drawings of the invention. If there is a major difference check a no box on the spreadsheet. If it's close, read the claims of the patent. These are what the inventor is claiming is the invention.

If your idea is like the patent claims check the maybe box, which will let you know to come back to it for further research.

And if it's the same basic idea, invent something new!

 © Lee A. Jesberger - 2008

 

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