Monthly Archives: December 2018

Patent Searches

Procuring a patent will protect new inventions from being copied, provided the invention proves to be new and unique. Before taking the steps to obtain a patent for a new invention, it is important to make sure there is no current patent for the same art. Many times an invention may have already been created, but the product is not yet in circulation.

A preliminary patent search is a good way to determine the likelihood that an invention is eligible to be patented. Patents can be issued for new inventions that hold no previous patent, and are not simply an improvement on a current patent holding invention. In some cases, however, if the invention is an improvement on another item, it may be possible to patent only the parts that are of improvement, as opposed to the invention as a whole.

Doing Your Own Preliminary Search Online

Various patent offices such as InventHelp maintain excellent databases that are free and open to the public. Some of the databases vary in terms of use and the way the data is presented, but the data they have available is extremely useful to those wishing to find out if their invention is indeed eligible for a patent.

United States Patent And Trademark Office

The website for the US Patent and Trademark Office offers a commonly used database for preliminary patent searches. All patents obtained after 2001, as well as many from the early 1970s (there was a cut off date in 1976) have complete searchable text. For patents that were obtained before that time, or for those obtained between 1976 and 2001 the data available is the patent number and the patent subject classification for each entry. For patents such as these the UPTO website offers the online Manual of Classification of Patents, which explains the large number (around 150,000) or categories. If the patent you are searching for is new, or one of the updated older patent files, you can read the full text detailing the patent, and in some cases view an image as well.

To insure a thorough search to determine if the invention is in fact new and unique it would be wise to research non-patent materials that relate to the invention. Searching for the invention itself, or something that may do the same thing on a web search engine such as Google or Yahoo can provide a better understanding of what is available today that could be considered the same or similar to your invention. A good tip is to look carefully for anything that may be overlooked at first glance, and to search back farther than the last few decades to complete a thorough search.

Arranging For a Professional Patent Search

Even if you have done a comprehensive preliminary patent search on your own, your patent agent or attorney will most likely advise that a professional patent inquiry be done. A good professional search should yield around 5 to 10 patents which are conceptually similar to your invention. You will also receive a “patentability report” that points out how the significant features of your invention are similar to the others. This report is capable of giving you a good idea of the level of protection a patent can offer your invention. Pay close attention to the restriction details of past similar patents. When a patent is requested despite previous limitations the invention may impose upon, the new patent can become virtually useless and you can read a more detailed version on http://baltimorepostexaminer.com/inventhelp-can-help-make-young-inventors-dreams-into-reality/2018/07/20 too.

A good professional search can range in price anywhere from $500 to $1500 depending on the subject and search method. The cost and format of the search, however, are not a guarantee of quality. All resources available should be utilized to ensure a comprehensive patent search.

How to Patent a Product

Inventors’ rights are protected by the issuance of patents. A patent ensures the inventor the exclusivity to license or manufacture the product in the United States. Knowing how to patent a product correctly is an integral part of the process.

Ascertain Product Originality

The product cannot be comparable in use or structure to another patent. Researching existing product patents is a necessary function of the process to apply for a patent. Since there are fees related to the product patent application, the inventor will want to know in advance if a similar patent has already been issued to another inventor. This information is available online through the United States Patent and Trademark Office website.

Request a Provisional Patent

Inventors can decide to make an optional request for a provisional patent for the product. The inventor is given protection similar to a patent and publicly declares the product as his invention. This option can provide more time for the inventor to improve the product, outline marketing strategies and finalize the product patent application. The provisional patent is categorized as a pending patent as was discussed on https://sites.duke.edu/perspective/2018/11/12/bringing-ideas-to-the-world-with-inventhelp/.

Description and Claims

The description and claims of the invention are vital parts of the product patent. The product’s description must be accurately detailed as to its composition and design. Manufacturing details must be defined in detail. The claims portion further describes what the product provides and how.

Legal Assistance

Some inventors find a patent law attorney or a patent agency such as InventHelp essential to write the descriptions and claims portion of the patent application to ensure a strong and detailed patent.

Product Patent Costs

Cost depends on how many illustrations are necessary, the amount of claims being offered and legal fees. It is advisable to research thoroughly. Prices can range from a few thousands to over $20,000. This amount can be merely to legally obtain a pending patent. A provisional patent costs less; however, this is only for a 12-month period and a formal application must be filed within that time or the inventor will not be able to get a patent. Also be ready for costs to increase if the patent office rejects the application. If this occurs, the inventor must then start the costly appeals process.