You want your invention to become a really successful product. You want it to be patentable. But you're not sure how. No problem! Here is one of the best ways to do it.
You'll first want to find unusual new things – products or novelties in search of a use. You want really great things, the kind that will inspire your creativity: new electronics, new compounds, new physics, and novel compositions with unusual features.
Those things are easy to find in the patent category for toys and novelties, because that is the haven for inventions in search of utility. Why? Because of the US Patent requirement for utility: no utility, no patent. So, if your utility is unknown, yet the invention seems interesting in some way, the easiest utility is as a toy or amusement device.
But how can you see those things conveniently? That's so easy – use an online search by class/subclass using the patent office web site. At the US Patent Office site, do a search by Class/Subclass. For toys, the Class is 446. Subclasses are by topic, for example 446/15 is for toys with soap bubbles.
You can find a topic by an index search, or by a manual of classification search. The steps are as follows. Go to the US Patent Office official site (www.uspto.gov). Click patents, which brings up a listing. Click the third item down, Classification. The topic you'll want for an index (word) search is “search USPC index schedule and definitions”, and the topic for a classification search is on the right hand side about a fourth of the way down called “browse listing of USPC Class numbers and titles.”
Now, on to the actual search steps: on that site, click “search for patents” in uppermost right side of page. It is in the light text just above the box “Search our site”. In the blue text on the right half of the page, click on either the top link (USPTO full text and image database) or on the second link down (USPTO Patent Application full text and image database) depending on which type you want.
Choose a search option. The “Quick search” is the top option and always works well, but for a Class/subclass search you'll need to use the advanced search option (i.e., the second one down). In the box that appears, type ccl/class/subclass, and click search. For example, to find the above-noted soap bubble category, you'd type ccl/446/15 and click search. A listing of all patents in that category will appear.
Another good search area is that for special visual effects. For that, a good place to look is the “signs and displays” area, class 40.
Try it! Have fun and invent, at the same time.
The author is a patent attorney with over 28 years experience in patents and trademarks. For further information, please email at IP1lwyr@gmail.com
, or call at 877-654-3336.