How to Conduct a Patent Search in 5 Basic Steps: 2021 Guide
Roll up your sleeves if you are to patent your idea or conduct a Patent Search. It is not as simple as doing a google search, it involves a lot of digging. This
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Roll up your sleeves if you are to Patent Your Idea or conduct a Patent Search. It is not as simple as doing a google search, it involves a lot of digging. This is really important to ensure that there is nothing else out on the globe like your invention or idea, this can be done if you patent it after conducting a thorough Patent Search.
Before moving ahead to patent your idea or invention, a professional patent search along with an expert legal opinion from a Patent Attorney is what you or any other inventor needs.
Before moving on, it is very important to understand Patent Search and Its importance.
What is Patent Search? Why is Patent Search important?
A patent search or patentability search refers to the evaluation of the patentability of your idea or invention. The existence of the same invention leads to the rejection of patent applications by authoritative patent offices such as USPTO, JPO, CNIPA. Therefore, it’s very important to ensure the originality of the invention.
When you patent your idea, it acts as legal protection for your inventions. This ensures that your patent can not be used or duplicated or monetized without your permission. A patent search is indeed needed for protection from patent infringement.
One can conduct Patent Search on his own to save money, however, professional services from companies that provide Patent Services are also a good option when you have a good budget. The best option is to avail of professional services or use patent search tools for the most refined results. Let us now discuss the 5 basic steps to conduct a Patent Search.
5 Basic Steps to Conduct a Patent Search
1. Key string search
The key string search refers to search using one or more relevant keywords in patent databases. The search involves the identification of keywords related to the invention, locating terms that are identical to the words related to the invention, and building key strings to be used for the search in the patent database. One can use the patent search tools with advanced search features to identify the search intent and reach the most accurate search results.
2. Invention Disclosure
The next step is to disclose the invention before the Patent Attorney. It is very important when you are looking to patent your idea through services from companies that offer Patent services in the USA. The Patent Attorney will first understand the invention or idea and then conduct the Patent Search.
Patent Attorneys should understand the invention and your plan to use or monetize your invention before they conduct the search or opine on the results.
An experienced Patent Attorney will thoroughly dig out your invention deeper by putting forth some questions to acquire information about all the aspects and applications of your invention.
3. Google Search
Broader search can be conducted using the Google Patent and Advanced Google Patent search. You can write Google Patent Search or click on https://patents.google.com to land into the platform where you can start searching.
For a comprehensive search, use different natural language keywords & phrases. Along with that, use the Boolean search strings for more refined results as per features of interest.
Through the broader search, you can find publications (that include the patent document as well as non-patent literature documents) that have one of the features or functionality of your invention.
4.Patent Classification Search
To patent your idea, you need to understand that patents are classified based on technical content for the quick and easy identification of particular technology. In the Patent classification search, one needs to put the invention under one or more categories that are suitable for the invention.
Different classifications are allotted to patent applications like IPC, CPC, US patent classification, and European classification (ECLA).
Correct classification can be done only after the confirmation of each feature or functionality of the invention. Once it is done, next is to identify the relevant sub-classification.
Sub-classification leads to refined searches and enables you to identify the closer invention.
5. Patent Search Via USPTO or Other Online Patent Search Tools
US patent search can be conducted through USPTO. To perform a patent search, you can dig out all the patents from two different databases like The Published Patent Applications Database and The Complete Patent Documents Database. This will enable you to gather the patent documents which are synonymous with your invention. Some of the popular drop-downs in USPTO search are:
US Patent Number Search (the patent number or publication number)
Patent Date Search (date(s) of invention/publication)
Patent Search by Inventor (name of the inventor)
Patent Search by Title
To conduct a global patent search, one can use other online patent search tools. Many of the tools provide you with the related issued patents as well as the published patent applications in a single search. Advanced filters will instantly narrow down your search for specific outcomes.
One of the biggest reasons that one should get the Patent Search conducted by Patent Attorney is to well-acquaint the Patent Attorney with the invention, its features, and its functionalities. This further helps in the claims of patent your idea and they identify the limits for the expansion of the scope of what will be the patent rights.