Inventors always ask whether it is necessary to pay for a patent search. Watch this video to find out.

Do Inventors Need A Patent Search for an Invention?

Read the transcript below.

Today I’m here to answer your question “What is a patent search (or “prior art search”) – and does every inventor need an invention search?”

Let me start off by saying that a patent search is not required. It is recommended to get a patent search – but it is not required. That is, even if you do your own invention search before filing a patent application, you will have to cite those references to the Patent Office. But the Examiner at the Patent Office will still do his or her own patent search during examination.

Now do you need a prior art search? Maybe, and that will be up to you.

Usually it is a good idea to do a patent search

Usually, I will say that you should consider a patent search, unless there is a reason to expedite the filing, such as for a bar date when you need to file right away.

A patent search can give you an idea of what’s come before. Any product that’s out there, whether it’s been commercialized or just filed as a patent application (even if it’s never been marketed or made) – even if the patent application was not issued – that’s considered prior art.

If it’s published in a journal – in a scholarly journal, in a book, online (even if its out there on a YouTube video) – it’s prior art, and you want to look at that. See if there is still room for your invention in the patent world. Should you file a patent application or would it be a waste of money?

Can you do your own invention search?

Now a lot of the time people will come to me and say “I searched on Amazon” or “I searched on the Internet and I don’t see anything out there like it.” Or a business will say “we know this product space inside and out, and there’s nothing out there like this.”

I always put it out there as an option. Maybe you don’t want to do a prior art search. Maybe you don’t think you need an invention search. And that’s fine. You don’t have to do a patent search for an invention.

But you might just want to consider doing a patent search for your invention. Sometimes I’ll do an invention search and it will come back with something that’s right on – or very close. Then they make the decision not to file a patent application. That saves a lot of money.

If they decide not to take the product to market – who knows, maybe they avoided a commercial mishap.

I hope that I answered your question “what’s a patent search and does every inventor need to do a search for their patent.”