How to do a Patent Search?

Patent Searching Basics.

Patent Searching Basics. How to Start a Patent Search. Prior Art Searching. Inputs to an Invention or Patent Search. Where to Start a Patent Search.

A basic Patent Search is researching various data sources to determine if there is prior art that discloses your invention. Prior art is existing patents, patent applications, and publications (non-patent literature). It is found around the world. Prior art is those existing documents that are similar to your invention, or describe your invention.

What you need?

You will need three things for input into the search engines to do a patent search. You will need the following:

  • Description
  • Keywords
  • Classification

Description:

The place to start a patent search is with the description of the invention. A description of the invention that is just a simple sentence or two is the easiest to work with. A concise description is easier to work with. This is because what you will need for actual searching in databases is just the right few keywords and the right classification(s) for the invention. You are looking to locate all the existing products and processes that are the most similar to our invention.

Keywords:

The description is used to develop a good set of keywords to use for searching. The best keywords to use are those terms and phrases about the invention and its field of use that describe it most accurately and completely. A good concise description will be simpler to use. The concise description likely already has many if not all of the keywords that you will need to start a search.

Classification:

The final piece to the input for a patent search is the classification. The classification system to use is the CPC Scheme (find it on the USPTO website). The CPC is the Cooperative Patent Classification system. The CPC (like all classification systems) categorizes inventions into classes. The idea is that all the other inventions that are like your invention will be in the same class(es). Searching by class is essential to a complete patent search.

TIP: If you don’t know or can’t find the class(es) for your invention, one place to start is the class(es) of the patents that you find with keyword searching. After you find a patent similar to your invention, you can use that patents classification as a starting point for your invention.

Places to Search | Where to Search | What Data Sources to Search

You should search the following data sources, at a minimum. The more places searched the more complete the search. However, the following list of sources will give you a good start. And, quite likely, more prior art (existing stuff like yours) than you were expecting.

  • United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) – uspto.gov
  • European Patent Office (EPO) – epo.org
  • World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) – wipo.int
  • Google Patents – patents.google.com

Steps to Patent Searching for Prior Art | Conducting the Patent Database Search for Prior Art

Step 1: Use the keywords to Search the USPTO or Google Patents databases. You are looking for products or processes that are similar to or describe your invention.

Step 2: After the initial search. Review the Results. – Assess, Evaluate, Refine keywords and classification(s) to narrow the results. You are looking for only those products or processes that are the most similar to your invention. The more specific the keywords are the better the results will be.

Step 3: Use refined keywords and classification(s) for Full Search of all data sources to be searched. An exhaustive search would include databases from many countries in many languages all over the planet. At a minimum, the databases available at the USPTO, the EPO, WIPO, and Google Patents should be searched.

What your Searching for | What your Looking for …

There are two things that you are looking for in the information that you discover in the databases.

First, whether the invention is described in the prior art. Is your invention already available, or described in the existing patents, patent applications, and publications (prior art) around the world?

Second, whether the claims of the invention are novel. Is your invention new, or already described in the prior art (the existing patents, patent applications, and publications)?


Get help with your invention. Contact Carson Patents Patent Agent. Get a quote to help search, file (apply). Get a quote to represent your invention with the USPTO. Help with filing USPTO Patents and Patent Applications is at carsonpatents.com. Check out the about page.

Get prior art search help with your invention or patent online. Consult Carson Patents, Software Experienced Biomedical Engineer, Patent Agent. Get a quote to help file, apply, and represent your idea and work with the USPTO for your invention. Confidential, Privileged Communication. Contact us to apply for the patent for your invention. Online consulting help filing US and International Patent Applications is here.

Gregory D Carson Patents is verified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). We are verified by the VA as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) . We are listed on the VA’s Vendor Information Pages (VIP) at https://www.vip.vetbiz.va.gov/.

Get a consultant to help with your invention or patent online. Contact Carson Patents.

About our company: Software Experienced. Electrical Engineering. Mechanical Engineering. Biomedical Engineer. Patent Agent.

Get a quote for help to file to protect your invention. We can represent your patent and work with the USPTO for your invention.

Confidential, Privileged Communication. Online Service: Patent Help. Prior Art Searches. Patentability, Novelty, and Prior Art Reviews. Contact us to apply for the patent to protect your invention, or idea. Online help filing US and International Patent Applications is here.  

Patent Agent Legal Services

What Legal Service/Advice can you get from a Patent Agent, and is it Confidential/Privileged?

Patent Agent Legal Services? When it comes to legal rights, in pertinent part, property rights, there are licensed professionals who offer help in exercising or protecting your rights. Lawyers. For patents there are patent practitioners (agent or attorney) to deal with these special rights.

Patents are Intellectual Property and need a Patent Practitioner not an Attorney:

Patents are a kind of property, specifically intellectual property. A patent, the legal right claimed under Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the US Constitution. A patent is the right to prevent others from making, using, or selling your invention. Property rights are your rights to enforce. You can do this yourself, but usually it is far more effective and efficient to hire a professional as the patent laws are complex and detailed.  An improperly filed and/or drafted patent application may prevent you from asserting your rights against potential infringers. 

The professionals that deal with personal property, real property, and intellectual property are lawyers, with one exception. Among the bundle of intellectual property rights are  patents. The USPTO issues patents, and registers professionals to practice before the office. Being a lawyer does not permit them to practice before the USPTO. Registration requires a separate application and examination process. To be allowed to communicate with the USPTO (“prosecute”) on a client’s behalf regarding a patent, an attorney needs to take an additional bar exam.

Patents need a Patent Agent or Patent Attorney:

Only those licensed to practice before the USPTO can prosecute a patent. Only patent practitioners (patent agents and patent attorneys) can prosecute patents; non-patent attorneys cannot. Whether a patent practitioner is agent or attorney is determined by whether they are a member in good standing of some state’s legal bar. In other words a lawyer. Thus, while patent agents prosecute only patents, patent attorneys can also prosecute other legal rights. 

Legal Advice on Patenting comes from Patent Agents or Patent Attorneys:

Patent agents are not authorized or licensed to give legal advice in general. With that said, the US Supreme Court has held that patent agent activities incident to the preparation and prosecution of patent applications, even beyond the representation before the USPTO, like advising on potential patentability of an invention is permitted.

Patent agents can give legal advice during the drafting and prosecution of patent applications. However, this is not open ended. The usual forms of this legal advice are opinions on prior art, novelty, patentability, patent validity, and infringement. Patent agents can help with ownership and licensing by clearing up legal misconceptions about patents and recording assignments. Patent agents can also handle reexamination proceedings before the USPTO if the prior art shows that the claims should be narrowed or cancelled. 

For stuff like Infringement Lawsuits, you need an Attorney:

However, for some patent related matters like lawsuits for infringement, assignments, or employer/employee rights, you should discuss these things with an attorney who specializes in that area. Your best attorney choice may not be a patent attorney. I maintain relationships with attorneys I trust should you need to engage an attorney and need a referral.

Communication with a Patent Agent is Confidential (i.e. covered by client controlled privilege):

The advice and interaction with a patent agent is covered by the same confidentiality standard as an attorney. Client communication is held in confidence and is protected under privilege. Patent agents hold the same basic professional liability insurance as that held by attorneys, just limited to the practice of patent prosecution. 

Gregory D Carson, Patent Agent

Get prior art search help with your invention or patent online. Consult Carson Patents, Software Experienced Biomedical Engineer, Patent Agent. Get a quote to help file, apply, and represent your idea and work with the USPTO for your invention. Confidential, Privileged Communication. Contact us to apply for the patent for your invention. Online consulting help filing US and International Patent Applications is here.

Gregory D Carson Patents is verified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). We are verified by the VA as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) . We are listed on the VA’s Vendor Information Pages (VIP) at https://www.vip.vetbiz.va.gov/.


Get a consultant to help with your invention or patent online. Contact Carson Patents. About our company: Software Experienced. Electrical Engineering. Mechanical Engineering. Biomedical Engineer. Patent Agent. Get a quote for help to file to protect your invention. We can represent your patent and work with the USPTO for your invention. Confidential, Privileged Communication. Online Service: Patent Help. Prior Art Searches. Patentability, Novelty, and Prior Art Reviews. Contact us to apply for the patent to protect your invention, or idea. Online help filing US and International Patent Applications is here.