Patents and Trademarks

What is a Patent Search?

A patent search is a process of identifying existing patents related to an invention or idea. a patent search is not legally required, but it can be a crucial part of figuring out whether any prior patent will interfere with your ability to acquire a patent.Filing for a patent and acquiring a patent can be expensive. Before applying for a patent, you should conduct a search for “prior art”. Inventions already patented are called "prior art"

Why Do a Patent Search?

  • Patentability: To determine if an idea or invention has already been patented. 
  • Collection or State of the Art: To monitor development or know the state of the part in a specific technology
  • Infringement or Validity: To judge possible actions such as opposition proceedings concerning a patent.

Patent Searching Basics

Seven Step Strategy for Preliminary Patent Searching Using USPTO Website

  1. Brainstorm terms to describe your invention.
  2. Access and review CPC classification schema using USPTO's website site search.  Type "CPC", "scheme", and a keyword for your classification.
  3. Access and review CPC classification definitions linked to CPC classifications in a scheme.
  4. Retrieve and review issued patents using the CPC classification(s) identified.
  5. Conduct in-depth review of those patents you selected based on front-page information.
  6. Retrieve and review published patent applications using the CPC classification(s) identified.
  7. Broaden your search with foreign patents, U.S. patent classification, keywords, non-patent literature and/or a patent professional search

Patent Tutorials