Patents are sought for a number of reasons, but they are generally compatible with product development. Can be used for patent search
1) Make sure your product is unique and does not mimic patented technologies or identities,
2) Check out other features you can add to your product To make it more competitive in the market.
3) Check out different applications for your product, or
4) Find answers to problems with your product design.
The depth of the patent search should be with the development of your product. When you first come up with this idea, it’s a good idea to find a quick patent to test other products, get more ideas about your product development, and potential applications for your product. For caches and uses. In addition, your product development requires a more in-depth patent search as this will be the first step towards licensing and protecting your product. The patent process is not a one-day event, but a process that involves research, analysis, and application.
There are three main ways to search for a patent:
1) online database,
2) CD-ROM database, and
3) physical search in the Depository Library or US Patent Office.
Online databases allow convenience and access to more existing information than CD-ROM databases but are often down because of the number of people accessing the site. So if you decide to use an online database, it’s best to search late at night when traffic is slow. Online databases can be free or fee-based. Free sites usually only have patents for the last 20-25 years, so it would be more beneficial if your product uses older technologies than a fee-based site.
- The first step is to find general patents for companies, products and inventors that you know are relevant to the subject area of your product. For example, if you have invented a particular type of paper product, you may want to look for companies that you know are in the field, such as 3M Corporation. This step is to help generate patent leads that can compete with your product or give you insights into its development.
- Find keywords using keywords related to your product. Again, using paper products as an example, you can use keywords like paper, office supplies, wood products, stationery, etc.
- Use the CLASSIFICATION INDEX to find the title that best describes your product. Your product may fall into more than one category, so search carefully and make a list of all that apply.
- Next, use the Manual of Classification to find the subcategories that further describe your product. Make a list of all that apply.
- Then go to the Classification Definition section to find definitions for the classes and subclasses you have placed in CLASSIFICATION INDEX and MANUAL OF CLASSIFICATION for your product. These definitions will define exactly what classes and subclasses belong to and will help to identify the class and subclass that is relevant to your product.
- Use the database to find patents in the classes and subclasses that you have identified for the subject of your product.
- When you found the patent read through the abstract and checked the images provided in the file. Simply skimming the headline is not enough. Really check information for relevant, ideas, inventions, and other patent or product references. This will help generate other patent leads that will need to be scrutinized.
- Once you’ve compiled a pile of patents, check out the content, look for content, and look for popular companies in your subject area and popular inventors in your subject area. These can be used to search for other patents that may be useful in your search.
- Categorize your search terms, companies and inventors by headings and try to come up with other search terms that relate to them. Then use these lists to find patents.
- Read patents for reference to other patents, companies, or inventors and use this information for additional information.
- Repeat your searches until you cover all the patents that relate to your product or its subject area.