It is essential for one to conduct a US patent search before the patent filing process. It is so because patent search plays a huge role in avoiding patent infringement which reduces the cost of the applicant. A US patent search is a subset of the prior art search where one mentions similar ideas in academic and technical literature. If one has got an amazing idea, he first needs to search the patentability status of that idea. Then only he can move further and get a patent if no one has got legal rights of that idea.
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US Patent Search: Types
As patent search involves exploration of the issued patents, one considers it as an important prior art reference while applying for a patent. Some types of US Patent Search are:
Prior Art/Novelty Search:
This determines if prior art exists that would prevent an idea or invention from being patented. The attorneys and patent agents search for any pre-existing documents that a patent examiner would likely use against a patent application during the examination. The search may uncover relevant documents including U.S. and foreign patents, published patent applications and non-patent printed publications such as thesis papers and dissertations.
This determines the validity of an issued patent by locating any prior art documents or references that would invalidate the claims of interest. This search focuses on documents predating the priority date of the patent in question. The attorneys also review the file history to best understand the points of novelty.
It is one of the best ways to do a US patent search. This compares a client’s proposed product or idea and determines whether any patent claims read on the client’s proposed product or method. The search uncovers relevant U.S. patents and published patent applications, and one can expand it to include foreign patents and patent applications.
This is similar to an infringement search but also looks to uncover expired prior art documents. Clearance searches are also known as “freedom-to-use”, “freedom-to-practice” or “right-to-use searches”.
One conducts this search when a broad, general inventive concept must be given a final and precise embodiment. Based on the broadness of the proposed product, idea or method, one may uncover a large number of references. They may range from U.S. patents to published patent applications.
This locates U.S. patents still in force, published patent applications and also expired patents in the public domain for the specific subject matter.
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Database and Electronic Searching:
This search requires one to perform in-house database-driven research to locate relevant U.S. and foreign patents, documents, articles, brochures, dissertations and other items. This search requires compilation to one of the most extensive collections of database resources.
Manual Searching at the United States Patent and Trademark Office:
This comes as one of the most significant US patent search method. The patent applicant can search for the patent manually at the USPTO. A manual search includes a review of patents and published patent applications. One can classify the search in a particular class or across multiple areas covering the technology. This manual search method includes on-site research in the search room of the USPTO along with personal consultation with patent examiners.
In addition to the databases and archives of the USPTO, one can search for relevant prior art and documents across several library resources. The non-patent libraries include the Library of Congress, National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health and the local technical libraries.
Related Article: A Complete Guide to Patent Novelty Search
Looking for a Patent Search? – The Patent Search Firm
Nowadays patent search has become an important process before filing the patent. If you are looking to seek any assistance regarding US patent search, The Patent Search Firm (TPSF) will guide you with the process. Our team of professionals are experts in conducting patent search globally. The Patent Search Firm (TPSF) helps you to take business decisions quickly and effectively. We, a team of professional experts provide world-class services to our clients by minimizing office actions at optimal cost. We make sure that our clients are always two steps ahead of their competitors. The legal protection of the clients is our utmost priority. To avail our services, visit The Patent Search Firm.
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