What Is the Patent Search Process? – 10 Tips : Patent Law Firm
What Is the Patent Search Process? – 10 Tips
You could have come up with a useful invention that tackles an old issue or is groundbreaking. Gaining patent protection is a crucial step in guaranteeing that you will be the only recipient of the economic benefits that come with this discovery. Nonetheless, it is prudent to ensure that your creation is unique, and no patent exists for it. Therefore, you must learn how to conduct a patent search efficiently.
- Hire a patent attorney
It is wise to have a qualified patent attorney to help with the search. He or she knows the quickest ways of establishing whether your idea is likely to infringe on another person’s rights. Additionally, after the research, you will be presented with a report on how best to ensure that your invention seems unique from others.
- Do a patent search on the web
Google has a platform known as Google Patent Search, which is quite beneficial in this regard. It should not be the only research that you do, but it is an excellent place to start. It has some holes in its database whereby some patents may be existent, but they are not listed in this database.
The search engine will give you different parameters to fill to try to narrow your search. If you get that a patent exists for your invention, you could modify it or abandon it. However, if no result turns up, more research is still imperative.
- Do a patent search at the United States Patent and Trademark Office
The USPTO is in charge of issuing patents in the United States. Therefore, it is wise to use their resources to see if there is a patent for a similar invention. They have an automated search engine that would aid in realizing this objective.
- Definition of the invention
You should have a comprehensive description of what you are searching for.
- Identify how you or another person could label it.
- Note the various terms, functions, and design materials that can be used.
- Utilizing various perspectives can be beneficial. An artistic individual is likely to have a different definition from that of an engineer.
With ample terms and phrases, the chances of the search process outputting a result of whether a similar invention exists or not are increased.
- Know that there is a classification system
The patent office usually categorizes the different patents differently. There is a routine way of characterizing features, inventions, and concepts. Each class and sub-class has a code attached to them. Having the proper code for your invention enables you to do a patent classification search, which will be faster, more precise, and more comprehensive.
- Employ the query by example approach
It allows you to look for documents in the current database via the use of an already known patent as an example. You will then request the search engine to avail documents similar to the instance given.
The most prevalent tactic is to use the keywords or language in the known patent’s text. The search algorithm then identifies the array of documents that have similar terms.
An alternative is to utilize the classification fingerprint of the patent. The search algorithm will then locate documents that are similar to the target patent.
- Use Boolean terms
Basic Boolean logic entails three primary operators. They include OR, AND, and NOT.
Many persons while doing searches dislike using the OR operator in addition to overusing the AND one. The reason for doing so is because the former outputs a myriad of results. However, this approach is wrong. A search could have nil results since a document may fail to have all the items you have listed.
The better tactic is to use the OR operator to join your terms. You will get all the documents that have one or more keywords that you listed. In this case, a million records may be outputted. A sorting algorithm can then be used to arrange them by relevance.
- Utilize the clustering tactic
This approach, though discouraged, can prove beneficial in the searching. It aids in the organization of the array of documents into logical concepts or themes.
- Augmenting the results’ relevancy
Search engines perceive a single keyword that has multiple words as numerous keywords. For instance, the keyword ‘insulating beverage container’ will be fragmented into three keywords and the results will be of any patent with any of them. It will thereby be time-consuming as irrelevant results will be achieved.
Amplifying this relevancy entails putting quotation marks to have them treated as a single keyword. The outputted results will thus contain the particular phrase. In the above example, you would write “insulating beverage container” to have it treated as one keyword.
- Using charts
Charts are essential in presenting the final results. These instruments are vital in the analysis of the findings.
In conclusion, with these tips, you gain a better understanding of the patent search process.