How to start a patent search?
Step 1: List down the keywords
The first step for patent search is in-depth understanding of the proposed invention/ idea and identifying the most important features of the particular invention. After the features have been identified, the searcher has to list down the most important keywords from the features. Keywords are the search terms used for performing a patent search. Selecting correct and relevant search terms is very important for removing irrelevant patents from the result. Also the search terms should not be very common and should be according to the key features of the proposed invention. Identification of synonyms of the keywords should be done for good search results.
What are different strategies for patent search?
Various strategies of the patent search include:-
Most of the inventors begin their search by using a few keywords from their invention. The searcher goes to any of the free patent databases and types the keywords from the invention. So, the searcher may not go through the entire list of the patents, but only a list of patents related to his area of interest. The keywords should be such that it describes:
Why conduct a patent search?
Although, conducting a patentability search is a not a recommended legal practice, but is advisable to determine whether the inventive concept is patentable or not. For the inventive concept to be patentable, the idea or the proposed invention should be novel, useful and non-obvious. If the proposed invention is not patentable then continuing with the development of the proposed invention will not be beneficial as it may be rejected by the Patent Office.
Where to start the Patentability search?
One can start a patentability search from any country’s patent office database. But, this would not be a better approach. Also, one can begin the patentability search at the USPTO as it contains a large collection of published patents and patent applications from all over the world. This is a very common approach and a good start for patentability search. But, doing so is also not advisable.
What is a Patentability Search?
A patentability search means searching the prior art including published patent applications, issued patents, scientific journals and patents etc. It is done with an aim to determine whether filing the patent application makes sense. If one finds a prior art that completely describes the invention/idea, then one probably should not file the patent application for the invention.