How do you know if a patent already exists?
The best advice for the novice is to contact the nearest Patent and Trademark Depository Library (PTDL) and seek out search experts to help in setting up a search strategy. If you are in the Washington, D.C. area, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) provides public access to collections of patents, trademarks, and other documents at its search facilities located in Alexandria, Virginia. Oct 20, · A patent search is essential to determine how difficult it will be to get the patent you need. Searching is Easier than Ever. To search patents you need a patent database. Not too long ago, your search had to happen at the patent office. Now, the United States Patent and Trademark Office makes its entire database of patents available for patents search. Services like Google also index patents.
The light bulb goes off. You have an incredible idea for an invention. Your brainchild is so special -- and so potentially lucrative -- that it would be a shame if someone ripped it off. They could cash in on it instead of you. You have two choices: You could 1 hire a patent attorney for a pretty penny to run a patent search for you, or 2 you could conduct a patent search yourself.
While the second option will likely chew up more time and brainpower, it could save you a lot of money, perhaps even enough to help what hazard class and division is assigned to explosives the launch of your dream product or service.
If you opt to run your own patent search, good on you, there are plenty of resources available online to help you navigate the many and often tricky steps involved. The exhaustive, acronym-packed guide covers everything from how to retrieve and review issued patents and published patent exissts, to how to sift through the U. No one w time for all that. Thankfully the bright minds at Idea Buyeran online marketplace for intellectual property, have done most of the research legwork for you, neatly condensing the USPTO guide.
Check out the patemt below for a crash course in how to conduct a patent search, and to figure out if you should even seek a patent at all. Good luck! Latest Video Start A Business. Next Article link. Image credit: Shutterstock. Kim Lachance Shandrow. April 3, 2 min read. Related: To Patent or Not to Patent?
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One way of checking whether or not your product or idea has already been invented and patented by somebody else is to consult the EPO's free search service Espacenet. The database contains more than million patent documents - most of them patent applications rather than granted patents - from around the world. Espacenet - patent search. Sep 11, · You can also access U.S. patent applications online. Start at spysms.us Next, under the heading Related USPTO Services, click on Tools to Help Searching by Patent Classification. May 07, · Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) The Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) is available in all PTRCs. Also, these libraries have CD-ROMs containing the database of registered and pending marks; however, the CD-ROMs do not contain images of the design marks. Patent and Trademark Resource Centers.
The patent process begins by searching for similar patents. Find out more about how to see if someone has patented your idea. You have a great idea - a product that will change everything. You think: "I need to patent my idea ". The first step towards patenting an idea is a patent search. Before you get too far into the patent process , it is critical to know what other patents are out there. A patent search is essential to determine how difficult it will be to get the patent you need.
To search patents you need a patent database. Not too long ago, your search had to happen at the patent office.
Now, the United States Patent and Trademark Office makes its entire database of patents available for patents search. Services like Google also index patents. Through the internet, inventors have access to resources, especially for a U. Patent search , to search for patents that were unimagined before.
It is easier now to search patents than ever before. Before you start patent an idea you need to know more than did someone else patent your idea?
You can repeat multiple patent searches , using a variety of key words. Search patent databases as soon as possible so that you can find out quickly if someone has already patented your invention. That way you can change direction or invent something else. To conduct a patent search you have to know what makes your invention novel?
That means, what is it that makes your product, service or system new and different? The next step is to break down those new features into search logic.
The novel parts are the spring-loaded clasp that allows the user to clip it to the side of a purse with one hand. To search for your invention, reconstruct those elements: keychain, purse, spring and clasp. Keep refining your search to get the number of hits down to something manageable. Keep track of your search logic. Write it down and know how many hits each search resulted in.
The patent office receives more patent applications now than at any other time in history. You will want to repeat your search periodically to make sure that there are not any new patents that are close to your invention. Keeping your search logic makes sure you can easily repeat your search. You finish your search and find no one else has patented your invention.
You do, however, some other patents. Someone invented a similar spring-loaded clasp for the back of a stroller.
It is different, with a bigger spring and different shaped clasp but it shares many similarities. Even if someone has not patented your invention, your search is very important. Patents require absolute novelty. No one can ever have patented the same invention. Patents also cannot be obvious, this means, in legal terms, that a reasonable expert in the field could not have simply figured out how to create the invention.
Looking at the stroller clasp, the patent office could argue that your purse clasp is an obvious modification of the stroller clasp — maybe the only real difference is the size. When you write your patent it is best to include details that make it easier to argue that your purse clasp is not obvious: perhaps the small size of the spring requires special materials or the shape of the clasp has to include a specific angle.
Either way, it is better to know about the stroller invention ahead of time, to reference it in your patent and include details that differentiate it over the stroller clasp.
Even if you are filing a provisional patent - conduct a patent search. Even if no one has patented your invention it is important to know what else is out there. LegalZoom can help you conduct a patent search to determine if there are existing patents that are similar to yours. We can also help you file a provisional application for patent once it has been determined your patent doesn't already exist.
Get started by answering questions about your invention. Contents 3 min read. Joe Runge graduated from the University of Iowa with a Juris doctorate and a master of science in molecular evolution. H… Read more. How much does it cost to get a patent?
The answer can be different depending on why you want a patent and what you're patenting. Your great invention is not enough to get a patent. You need to conduct a patent search to find out if your invention is really new. The Internet gives inventors access to better search tools than ever. Use these tips to get the most out of your searches.. Applying for a patent is a long and sometimes complex process, but the process can be broken down in these five steps.
Find out how to get started researching your patent, drafting the application, and what to do while you wait for an official response. Under U. Understanding how the law differentiates ideas from inventions is a great way to learn some of the core tenants of patent law. Intellectual Property Basics. There are different ways to protect original ideas. The method you choose depends on the kind of idea you have.
A patent which grants ownership of an invention, but it won't pay you. There are a few ways you can generate a profit from your idea. Starting a Business. As a business owner, you have many options for paying yourself, but each comes with tax implications. How do you know when your idea is just an idea, as opposed to an idea that you could patent and put to profitable use? Utility patents are among the valuable assets in the world.
Unlike other forms of intellectual property protection, they have numerous formal requirements and can be very expensive to get. For new inventors, pursuing a utility patent can be daunting. If, however, you take it one step at a time, you too can receive an issued patent for your invention. Draw them yourself or hire a professional: getting the best patent drawings requires a bit of both.
Before a draftsmen pens the straight lines and neat numbering, your drawings have to explain your invention in a way you understand. Find out more about how to get great patent drawings. As an organization decides the names of their products and other identifying slogans or symbols, they need to make sure that those are not already in use, so that there will be less likelihood of confusion.
A trademark search can help accomplish this goal. How do you know if a patent already exists? Resources Intellectual Property Patents How do you know if a patent already exists? Searching is Easier than Ever To search patents you need a patent database.
Know What You are Looking For To conduct a patent search you have to know what makes your invention novel? Near Misses and Direct Hits You finish your search and find no one else has patented your invention.
About the Author Joe Runge, Esq. Related Topics. You may also like. Patents How to Get a Patent in 5 Steps Applying for a patent is a long and sometimes complex process, but the process can be broken down in these five steps.
Patents Can You Patent an Idea? Starting a Business How to Pay Yourself in an LLC As a business owner, you have many options for paying yourself, but each comes with tax implications. Patents How to Patent an Idea and Become an Inventor How do you know when your idea is just an idea, as opposed to an idea that you could patent and put to profitable use?
Patents How to Get Patent Drawings Draw them yourself or hire a professional: getting the best patent drawings requires a bit of both. Trademarks How to Do a Trademark Search As an organization decides the names of their products and other identifying slogans or symbols, they need to make sure that those are not already in use, so that there will be less likelihood of confusion.