Patents, Prototypes, Manufacturing, and Marketing New Inventions
Getting a US Patent Search and Why It Is So Important
Find Out If Your Invention is Patentable. Remember, if the idea has been patented anywhere in the world, the U.S. Patent office does not consider it to be patentable. Doing a patent search of just the U.S. patents just won't cut it. Get a patent attorney to do a real search.
Patents searches protect you from lawsuits
A patent is the tool that can be used to prevent others from manufacturing and/or marketing your new invention without your permission. If your idea is not patentable, then it is less likely you will be able to successfully market your new idea or product.
A patent will protect you against law suits by alerting you to the fact that someone else already has a patent on the particular idea. Don't infringe on someone else's patent because you were un-aware that it existed. A search gives you patent invention information you can't get any other way.
Another benefit to having a patent search done is that you get to read the patents of similar products. You may get ideas to help you improve your design and or marketability of your new idea or product.
An initial search is not intended to be complete, but rather helps determine whether you should pay for a professional searching later on. The objective is to determine whether someone else invented the idea before or "prior" to you, in which case you can move on to one of your other inventions.
Use free online patent searches for preliminary search information
Although many people utilize a patent attorney for the prior-art patent search to ensure that their invention is unique, the resources are available for inventors to do the work themselves. Many of the databases are widely available. Databases that used to be difficult to access are now accessible via the Internet.
Free patent searches are available at the US Patent and Trademark
Office, and several other databases can be searched for free.
Google has an excellent us patent search site, and I think it's the
easiest to use of any. Advice on how to use the databases can be obtained from
libraries, online discussions, books, and trial and error.
There are books that cover conducting patent searches, writing patent applications, and working with the Patent Office. Search around for them and utilize them if you wish, but your time might be better spent inventing or prototyping and leave the searching to the pros.
For inventors who are going to use a professional to assist in the effort, books can help to educate the inventor so the inventor knows what to expect. In either case, the books on this topic can help.
Paper copies of the original patents may be purchased from a variety of sources, including the US Patent Office for a few bucks each, but you can read them online for free. Or use Google and just print them out.
Don't stop at searching patents. Become an expert in the field that pertains to your invention. Find related trade journals, news groups, magazines, and internet websites that have anything to do with the field in which your invention resides.
Knowledge is power so go get as much knowledge about your subject as you can.
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