Any patent work begins with a study of the state of the art existing at a particular point in time, that is, the entire set of known technical solutions or methods. That is, from the search. After all, suddenly everything is already patented!
As a result of the search, you can find out a lot of useful things – not just invented at all or openly described. But also to identify general market trends, priority areas and a lot of other useful information. More details.
What does the search give?
- Verification of the uniqueness of the invention
- Discovering features and new development applications
- Search for competitors working in similar directions
- Search for analogs
- Studying trends in the industry itself (by the number of patents per unit of time)
- Checking patent purity
- Search for potential buyers of an invention or a license for it (Market Marketing)
- So it all starts with a search. Let’s talk about this.
Where are we looking?
Previously, the search could only be carried out in specialized patent libraries, in which it was necessary to spend a lot of time digging into various classifiers, requesting endless folders, essentially sifting through gold ore in search of an analogue.
Now the situation has changed so much that now it has become possible to do everything very quickly, productively and “without leaving the checkout,” that is, by going anywhere on the Internet. But, as it happens, behind the seeming simplicity are hidden at first glance invisible complexity. And if earlier it was clear where to go – to the patent library, now you can get a little confused in the abundance of these very libraries and different databases.
At the same time, the problem is that different bases cover different aspects, each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, there is no single universal base, the search must be carried out on all. That’s where companies like InventHelp come very helpful. InventHelp can help throughout the entire process of patent. You can learn more about this company here: https://inventhelp.com/inventhelp-faq and there are many more benefits of such professional help. To know how InventHelp can help you, make sure to read this article: https://thriveglobal.com/stories/a-discussion-about-inventhelp-and-helping-people-achieve-their-goals/
The hardest part is the keywords. Here you need to arm yourself with a dictionary and common sense. Go through all the synonyms for your keywords. At the same time, check your spelling – words in English and “American” may differ in spelling.
Use the asterisk more often (and if there are other operators, use them too). It helps a lot in search. Set only the root of the word and put an asterisk, the system will give you all the options, even those that you did not think about.
Look at pictures, drawings. Sometimes you can immediately see from them whether you need this patent.
Remember that you can and should follow the links to the cited patents. Especially if you have found a close analog. Sometimes, several patents close to your topic refer to the same patent. You already know what to do in this case.
Don’t forget the classes. From the very beginning, keep track of the class to which the analogs you find belong. As soon as a specific class is outlined, be sure to look into it, suddenly you will find something else there.
You can also monitor the market – keep track of companies that file patents in your area. Find competitors, see what patents they have, their timing, trends. Sometimes this can be a treasure trove of useful information. For example, make a list of firms who might be interested in your invention, and who could be offered to buy it (or a license to it).