Tips for Patent Searches

When conducting a patent pending search, there are certain tips which can save you a lot of time. The first step is to determine what kind of patent you are searching for. There are two basic types of patents. One is called a design patent that covers an invention’s appearance and the other is called a utility patent which covers an invention’s functionality.

Once you have determined which patent type you want to search for, the next step is to access one of the major online patent databases like the one from the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). In order to expedite your search, you should also determine which classes and subclasses in the database are most relevant to your invention. Reading through each class description in the database can help you to figure this part out.

When searching pending patents, you may decide to broaden your search outside the United States for a number of reasons. For instance, global patent searches can indicate to you whether it is viable to market the product in a different country from your primary business location. Professional patent researchers can conduct global patent searches on your behalf using a variety of special techniques. These include searching the classification code system, keyword searches, cross referencing and more which may be difficult for individual inventors to do for themselves.

Worldwide patent searches frequently use several global databases which are available to professionals and contain the latest information which may not be accessible via internet search. This type of search can be worth the money if it finds a match that will stop you from obtaining a patent. This discovery will minimize the time and money you invest in developing an idea which is not unique, or it may lead you to improve on the prior art to make it patentable.