The first thing you want to do when you have a new idea for an invention is a patent search. You’ve heard it time and again. But what how can you afford a patent search? Let’s talk about a budget patent search.

There are numerous resources on the Internet for conducting a patent search. Some charge, and some are free.

Basic Search (Google, Yahoo!, Bing)

Of course, the first thing that comes to mind when considering a patent search on a budget is one of the major Internet Search Engines, like Google, Yahoo!, or Bing. Even searching Amazon, EBay, and other retailers (,, etc.) is a good idea. And this is a good place to start. If you find something identical to your invention already exists, then there is no point spending any money for a professional patent search.

But inventors get into trouble when they don’t find it on their Internet search and conclude that it doesn’t already exist.

Free Internet Search (Google Patents)

It seems that every inventor has heard of Google Patents. And one would think that the ultimate Internet Search Engine must also be the ultimate patent search, right? Wrong. I’ve often found patents on the US PTO that I cannot find on the Google Patent Search. And this is when I know the patent exists – literally I am putting the issued patent number in, and not finding it on Google Patent Search. Just imagine if I’m doing a general keyword search.

Free Patent Search – Official Patent Search Databases

The only true authority for patents issued by the US government is the United States Patent Office. The US PTO publishes all issued patents going back to the beginning of the US Patent System. All new patents are published here every Tuesday. And all patent applications that are allowed to be published at 18 months, are published here every Tuesday.

But even this free database is not definitive.

You might ask then, what is definitive?

What about the European Patent Office patent search database?

What about the World Intellectual Property Organization patent search database?

While these are also good sources to check – in addition – none of these databases by themselves are definitive.

Well, there really is not definitive source. That’s because a Patent Office Examiner can reject a patent application based on any prior art that the Examiner finds. That includes social media (Facebook, YouTube), journal articles, college thesis, and any number of sources.,

So what is an inventor on a budget to do?

Is there such a thing as a budget patent search?

Trenner Law Firm offers a budget patent search. For just $500 you will get a patent search directed specifically to your invention, along with copies of all relevant references we find, and a full attorney opinion explaining how the references found during the search could be interpreted by the Patent Office Examiner to grant or deny a patent for your invention. Learn more about the Trenner Law Firm Patent Search.