Patent Attorney: Denver Colorado’s Mark Trenner’s Radio Interview Part 4

Does the US Patent Office have any resources?

If you still can’t find anything like your idea, either online or in stores, you can try heading over to the US Patent Office website. The US Patent Office has a free online database of all patents ever issued (yes, all the way back to 1790), and all patent applications published since 2001.

 

How do I develop a good search strategy?

 

That can be tricky. Don’t spend too much time here. Instead, hire a patent attorney to do a patentability search and analysis for you. Often when I provide the search results to a client, the inventor says “I didn’t realize there were already so many products so similar to mine.”

 

That’s why we do the prior art search. It’s better to find out that your idea already exists before you spend too much money filing a patent application for your invention with the US Patent Office, only to have your patent application rejected because someone else already had your idea.

Alright, if the prior art search didn’t turn up anything relevant to my invention, what’s next?

 

There are two basic requirements any invention must meet in order to file a patent application. Of course there are other requirements too, but let’s focus on what is arguably the most basic patentability requirements.

 

Okay, what’s first?

 

The US Patent Laws requires that your invention be unique or “novel”. If you haven’t figured it out already, you can’t patent someone else’s idea or an idea that is already on the market – it isn’t any invention.

 

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