Patents protect the inventors from competitors and offer them exclusive rights to profit from their invention. Getting a patent offers a lot of advantages to the inventor such as, protection from competitors, increased profits, reduced competition and increased market reach. However, the process of applying for a patent is challenging.
Applying for a patent, involves a lot of time and money. Conducting a patent search is a critical step in the process of applying for patent. Considering the fact that you have to get information about similar patents in the country and from other countries, it becomes a tough task for inventors.
Here are some tips to help you in the task
- Make a list of words that are used to describe your invention. You should also make a note of the synonyms.
- Record the class or subclass of the terms related to your invention.
- Avoid duplication by keeping a track of the useful patents.
Sources to search for patents
- You can search the website of patent offices, trade journals and scientific journals to get information about similar patents.
- You can also search for patents by the name of Assignee Company. However, keep in mind that the patent may be in the name of Mother Company or in the name of subsidiaries. There are many free patent searching tools to search the patent by assignee name.
- You can also get patent information, if you know the patent number. You can use the website of the patent office or other free tools in the internet.
- If you do not have the patent number, you can search for patents using the name of the inventor or the field of invention. But the available options vary depending on the date the patents were issued. For patents issued after 1975, you can easily find the information on google patents or the website of the patent office, but for patents issued from 1790 to 1975, you will find the information only in the USPTO website.
- You can also conduct a patent search on the basis of the subject or filed of the patent. Use free patent search sites like Google by entering the keywords about the patent.