Why do a Patent Search?

The patent process is very costly. The last thing you would do is spend a lot of money preparing and filing an application when it is easy to find prior art that will prevent a patent. For this reason, many inventors and businesses will choose to begin the process by paying for some kind of patent search. The expense of a patent search application is saved if knock out prior art is located. The reason US patent search leads to a better, strong application is because the first application files are absolutely critical. All aspects of your invention must be disclosed nothing new can be added without compromising the all-important filling date.

Who can do a US Patent Search?

Anyone can do a patent search using patent office database, but this database only contains patent issued since 1976. Google has a patent search engine is very quick and it includes patent going all the way the into the early 1800s. Unfortunately, Google Patents has a limited number of searchable fields. Still, Google Patents is an excellent first place to start, particularly where you don’t know exactly what you are looking for. How can you not know what you are looking for? The answer is simple. You know your invention but likely won’t know the exact language patent practitioners typically use to describe the features and functions of your invention.

Next Step in Patent Search

When you find the relevant patents you might find it helpful to switch over  Freepatentonline.com and Google patent search makes a lot of sense.  The best and most reliable patent search will be done by a professional that is intimately familiar with both advanced searching techniques and classification systems.  If you are not familiar with advanced search techniques and classification you are almost certainly going to miss the most relevant prior art in your own search. So search on your own to see if you can find something without spending any money, and to educate yourself on what information is included in patents. Then before you file remember that it is better to spend hundreds of dollars on a professional patent search now than to spend many thousands of dollars only to learn later that a patent cannot be obtained.

Why I cant get a cheap Patent Search?

Before you purchase a no-frills patent search it is important to know what you are getting. These searches may not speak English as their first language, and sending their technical information overseas can violate US export laws. Respect for property right may also be limited, making it culturally acceptable to take or share property information.

Bad Patent Searches

An overseas search company performed the patent search could not be relied upon. Of course one of the problems is sometimes when you obtain bargain basement US patent searches it is hard to know if the search is reliable, which is why pay a little extra for a professional search by a reputable search firm make sense.Obviously, the searcher who didn’t understand our inventor’s hog trap simply searched synonyms, the trading hog for the pig. We knew that the search was unreliable, but sadly bad searches frequently lead to elation because the search uncovers nothing even close, which makes the patent search suspect.


Does a Professional Patent Search come with a Guarantee?

Unfortunately, no guarantees can be provided. Pending patent application is published 18 months after filing, which means not all relevant prior art can be found even with a professional patent search. Even with an exhaustive and professional patent search cannot locate anything pending and not yet published. Additionally, when you do apply for a patent it is extremely likely that the patent examiner will rely on at least some patents that you did not know about.  Examiner rejection is sometimes unanticipated. It can also be due to the fact that the description of the invention is unintentionally overbroad.  Sometimes it is because an examiner will weave together multiple patents to make a rejection.

What about US patent searches from invention promotion companies?

There are companies you can work within invention space. When looking for a reputable company it is important to understand that the hallmark of a legitimate company is they will not do absolutely everything you need. Be careful when a company promises to be the one-stop shop. Part of typical invention scheme is to tell you to want to hear. Suspect companies tell you that they are excited to work with you and recommend a patent search that will cost around 800$. This is a dark side to the invention marketplace, and the inventors need to be careful.  No better example exists than the Federal Trade Commission winning an injunction against World Patent Marketing, a company charged with devising a fraudulent scheme to use consumer funds to enrich themselves.