Welcome back to The Patent King blog. The complex world of patents demands that we either go to law school or hire a patent lawyer. There are a few reasons why you would want to perform a patent search. First, you may have an invention that you want to protect. Second, you may want to learn more about an industry or corporation. The Internet is littered with bloggers who comb the United States Patent Office for the latest phone or device releases. You may also just want to monitor the intellectual property of your competitors.
We like to answer some of our frequently asked questions here on the blog as well to increase the chance that you will benefit from it. This FAQ deals with what to expect from a patent search. Unless you have performed a patent search before, you probably don’t know exactly what to expect from one.
“What can I expect with a patent search?”
“A patent search and patentability opinion can help an inventor decide whether to file for a patent. The patent process can be expensive, therefore, it makes sense to invest the time to discover whether the invention has been made before and whether the scope of protection available is worthwhile. Patent searches are best performed by patent agents who handle the matters directly or who contract locals at the PTO. There are more than 7,000,000 patents, so no search can predict 100% accuracy, but a search should endeavor to identify prior patents that would either prevent you from getting a patent or unduly narrow the scope of available protection. In addition to helping to determine whether an invention is patentable, a good search can help your patent agent in crafting claims, and describing why your invention is an improvement over the prior technologies.”