Learning how to do a patent search is a critical skill for any inventor. Patent searching reveals the limit on the patent you can get for your invention that is the prior art. The prior arts are the sum total of the all published papers, the published paper, patents and patent application available to the public. The United States Government grants your patent application in return for publicly disclosing the invention.
Fortunately, you would be having the wide range of patent search services available to you. The internet has given the inventors enormous power to conduct professional patent searches. Instead of going to the library or to the patent office, you can conduct your patent search online. There are even professional services that can search patents for you. Here’s how you can use those online tools to conduct the best search possible patent search.
Inventing is difficult. To find out start, searching as soon as you have the earliest version of your invention. Keep searching as you improve and search some more after you file a patent. If your new invention is already in the prior art, then, it is better to find out early. It is a terrible feeling to devote a year of your life to an invention only to find out that it is not novel. With easy-to-use online tools, it is easier than ever to find prior art.
In reality, the result of the patent search is seldom black and white. You will likely find out the several aspects of your invention are patented or published while some parts of your invention most unlike the prior art. For example, you invent a new way of brew beer. The process takes the same step that is used in traditional beer methods but rearranges them. The method also adds a brand new step at the end. When you conduct a search you find that several other fermentation processes use your new step but no one seems to have an ever rearranged the other step that you like.
Save your Searches
When you file your patent, you will be able to list the patents and other publication that you consider most relevant. This document is called an information disclosure system, IDS. It seems counterintuitive but a long IDS makes a patent stronger. It means that when the patent is completely new when compared to all patents and publication that you found in research. You have to disclose that any patent or publication a san inventor think is relevant to the novelty of your invention. If you fail to do so, your issued patent can be considered null or void. You have to disclose a lot of references but you cannot rely on the patent searches.
Do not just save your references save your search logic as well. You have to repeat your searches but before and after you file a patent.
When you find prior art references that seems like may block your patent application you should analyze it carefully. If not let the application go. It is hard enough to get them around the difficult prior art. And if you find references to your prior art early, it is easy to accept the result and save your time and money and do not file the patent application because when you find later in the process it gets complicated. If you have gotten so far into the process that you have filed a patent application but want to back out due to conflicting prior art, then you can give the USPTO notice that you want to abandon the application and pay the fee. You can stop responding to the USPTO and your application officially becomes abandoned.