How to Look Up Patent Exists
When it comes to building your business, knowing how to look up patent exists can be a valuable tool. The web has made nearly every human endeavor possible. The old cliche “you can do anything online” has never been truer than with patent search. Patents are a great way to identify new ideas. You may even be able to spot the designs of competitors that may invalidate your own patent application. As long as you don’t copy a competitor’s idea, it may not be worth it to file a patent.
Searching for patents online
If you are planning to create a new product or service, the first step is to search for patents to ensure that nobody else has already come up with the same idea. The good news is that there are several free resources available on the internet. You can use the US Patent and Trademark Office’s database or another one. However, you should keep in mind that USPTO patents are not text searchable, and you should consider using a different search tool if you want to save your time.
Depending on your requirements, you can try various free tools to search for patents. A free tool called Free Patents Online is easier to use than USPTO databases. It includes quick links to PDF documents of patent applications and provides easy-to-use hyperlinks for comparing patents. The search engine also includes useful analysis tools and analytical features. A premium site like Patsnap also offers a free search option.
Once you’ve found a few relevant patents, you need to narrow down your search. You can either conduct a full text search or just look for related patents. However, you should be sure to read the patents thoroughly so that you can identify relevant ones. Make a note of the patent number and US classification so you can return to the advanced search page. Afterwards, you can select the patent that you want to read.
Another popular option is Google. Google has a database of almost 90 million patent documents from around the world. Although the database is limited, it can offer quick results. However, Google does not have as much information as the other two platforms, so you should choose one that suits your needs. It is important to realize that you can’t do everything with the Google tool, so you need to find a patent search site that offers advanced features.
If you’re an inventor, the best place to start your search is at the USPTO’s patent database. Patents issued from 1976 and later are included. The database also contains PDF images of all patents issued before that year. For older inventions, however, you’ll need to search the pre-1975 database, and you’ll have to determine which U.S. classification the invention belongs to. Patent applications, on the other hand, are stored in separate databases.
There are a number of reasons for a novelty search. While patents grant the right to operate an invention, opponents often challenge the validity of a patent in order to avoid paying royalties. Without a novelty search, your invention could become prior art. This means your potential income and patent rights could be lost, or even worse. So it’s best to search for prior art before you apply for a patent.
Searching websites for manufacturers
One way to identify similar products is to use crowdsourcing sites. These sites feature a directory of products and can help you identify products that are similar but not identical to yours. Many companies prototype products before finalizing them, and these prototypes may be infringing on a previous design. In these cases, your product may not be able to receive a patent if it is already on the market.
Patents can also provide information about how to make repair parts or clarify the resources required to make a new product work. For historical information, searchers will often look up the patents issued to specific inventors. Some will even look up ancestors’ patents. Patents are important for identifying ancestors and are a great way to discover their background and creative work. But there are more than just those reasons to use this valuable resource.
Many patent websites offer free information as well as paid search features. However, these websites do not guarantee any specific results. The free-access databases use search engines that have varying degrees of quality. Also, search terms differ widely between countries, so you’ll want to consult a book or guide before you try searching online for patents. However, for beginners, it’s important to learn as much as you can about patent searches before diving into the world of patents.
Finding similar designs that may invalidate a patent application
The most common mistake patent attorneys make is overlooking one of the most important criteria to be successful: novelty. Every new product or service that is on the market has a corresponding sketch or drawing that served as the original concept. This prior art is considered a valid form of prior art, and similar designs may invalidate a patent application. The most important test for patentability is novelty, so it is critical to ensure that your design is novel and not copied by anyone else.
Often, design similarities are not immediately apparent when comparing existing designs. In addition to existing products, the comparison should include all previous versions of the product. For example, a patent application for an instant camera would be invalidated if the design was copied by an existing camera. This is because the two types of instant cameras have completely different technologies, but they have virtually the same overall look and feel. This legacy is often overlooked, and could potentially be considered ineligible.