International Business Machines Corporation (Armonk, NY)

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What is a patent?

How to Search for Patents

The first step in getting your patent is to conduct a patent search. You can do a google patent search or do a USPTO search. Once the patent application is filed, the item that is covered by the patent application could be referred to as patent-pending and you will be able to locate the patent application on public pair. Once the patent office approves the patent application, you are able to perform a patent search to locate the granted patent and your product is now patented. Alongside the USPTO search engine, you can use other search engines such as espacenet, as detailed below. You can get help from an attorney for patents. Patents granted in the United States are granted by the US trademark and patent office, also known as the United States patent office and trademark office. This office also reviews trademark applications.

Are you looking for similar patents? These are the steps you should follow:

1. Create a list of terms for your invention, based on its purpose, composition, or use.

Write down a short, but precise description of the invention. Avoid using generic terms like “device,” “process,” and “system.” Instead, consider synonyms to the terms you selected initially. Next, note important technical terms and key words.

Utilize the following questions to help you determine keywords or concepts.

  • What’s the purpose of the invention? Is it a utilitarian device or an ornamental design?
  • Is the invention a method of creating something or performing some function? Is it a product or procedure?
  • What is the nature and purpose of the invention? What is the physical makeup of the invention?
  • What’s the purpose of this invention?
  • What are the technical terms and terms that describe an invention’s nature? A technical dictionary can help you locate the right terms.

2. Use these terms to find relevant Cooperative Patent Classifications on the Classification Text Search Tool. If you’re not able to find the correct classification to describe your invention through the classification’s Schemas of classes (class schedules) and try again. If you don’t get any results from the Classification Text Search, you might want to think about substituting the words for describing your invention with synonyms.

3. Examine the CPC Classification Definition to verify the accuracy of the CPC classification that you have located. The hyperlink to a CPC classification definition will be available when the classification you have selected is a blue square with a “D” on the left. CPC classification definitions will help determine the relevant classification’s scope and therefore you’re certain to choose the one that is pertinent. The definitions could also contain search tips or other suggestions that can be useful for further study.

4. The Patents Full-Text Database and the Image Database allow you to search for patent documents that have the CPC classification. You can search and select the relevant patent publications by focusing first on the abstract and drawings representative of.

5. Take advantage of this list of most relevant patent publications to study each one in depth for any similarities to your idea. Take note of the specifications and claims. Contact the applicant as well as the patent examiner to obtain additional patents.

6. Retrieve published patent applications with the CPC classification you selected in Step 3 of the Applications Full-Text and Image Database. You can use the same search strategy in Step 4 to narrow your results to the most relevant patent applications by examining the abstract and drawings that appear on each page. Next, examine every patent application that has been published with care, paying special attention to the claims, and other drawings.

7. Find additional US patent publications using keywords searching in the PatFT and AppFT databases, searching for classification of non-U.S. patents as per below, and searching non-patent patent disclosures in the literature of inventions using internet search engines. Here are a few examples:

  • Add keywords to your search. Keyword searches may turn up documents that are not well-categorized or have missed classifications during Step 2. For example, US patent examiners often supplement their classification searches with keyword searches. Think about the use of technical engineering terminology rather than everyday words.
  • Search for foreign patents using the CPC classification. Then, re-run the search using international patent office search engines such as Espacenet, the European Patent Office’s worldwide patent publication database of over 130 million patent publications. Other national databases include:
  • Search non-patent literature. Inventions can be made public in many non-patent publications. It is recommended that you search journals, books, websites, technical catalogs, conference proceedings, and other print and electronic publications.

To review your search, you can hire a registered patent attorney to assist. A preliminary search will help one better prepare to talk about their invention and other related inventions with a professional patent attorney. In addition, the attorney will not spend too much time or money on patenting basics.