U.S. Patent Patent Search
|A patent search may be a useful first step in the patent process. This typically involves a search of relevant categories of US patents and some pending patent applications, and can if needed be extended into a search of foreign patents and also non-patent literature.
A patent search helps determine whether your invention is new or different from existing known inventions, and can be used to ensure there is a “right to use“ an invention directed to an expired patent.
In addition, a search helps the patent application writer draft your application in such a way as to avoid infringing another invention, while maximizing claim coverage for your invention. A patent search thus helps the inventor make an informed decision about filing a patent application and helps the patent attorney write the best patent application possible.
It is not necessary to conduct a patent search prior to filing a US patent application.
Types of Patent Searches Available
Freedom to operate (“right to use“) search
Foreign patent search
File wrapper search
I. PATENTABILITY/NOVELTY SEARCH
Patentability searches are conducted to determine if anyone has previously invented anything similar or identical to the invention. Patentability searches generally have no date constraints on the prior art. Service includes a search of issued patents (active and expired), and can be extended to include published patent applications. A patentability search also can include an analysis of the most relevant prior art references, electronic copies of listed patent references, and a formal report.
II. VALIDITY SEARCH
This is used to find patents or publications which can be used to challenge validity of an existing patent, and/or the strength of a patent. It includes an extensive prior art search (of both active and expired patents), with emphasis on references not considered by the Patent Examiner; claims analysis and comparison; electronic copies of listed patent references, and formal validity opinion report.
III. FREEDOM TO OPERATE (“Right to Use“) SEARCH
A freedom to operate analysis helps determine whether anyone is free to produce a particular product or engage in an activity without being blocked by an existing active patent. Discovery of a relevant expired patent provides evidence of a right to use the invention shown in the expired patent. This service includes a search of relevant patents (active and expired), claims analysis, electronic copies of listed patent references, and a formal freedom to operate opinion report.
IV. INFRINGEMENT SEARCH
Used to determine whether a proposed product or invention violates any active patents. It includes a search of active patents only; it can include a claims analysis and comparison, copies of listed patent references, electronic copies of listed patent references, and a formal infringement opinion report.
VI. LANDSCAPE SEARCH
Provides a broad overview of a technology or industry over time. Includes search and analysis of relevant patents (active and expired) and non-patent literature, industry analysis, copies of relevant patent references, and a formal report discussing potential areas of development in the field.
VII. STATE-OF-THE-ART SEARCH
A State-of-the-Art Search is designed to quickly show what is currently being developed in a given field. Service includes an extensive search of recent patents and non-patent literature in a particular technology area, electronic copies of listed patent references, and a formal report.
VIII. COLLECTION SEARCH
A collection search is a comprehensive search to determine the evolution of a particular technology over a fixed period of time. A collection search includes active and expired patents in a particular technology area and electronic copies of listed patent documents.
IX. LITERATURE SEARCH
A literature search specifically covers enabling, non-patent literature that may be cited as prior art against a patent application. Service includes a search of DIALOG and other database resources, citations and abstracts (if available) an analysis of the most relevant references, and a formal report.
X. FOREIGN PATENT SEARCH
A foreign patent search covers patent references in Europe, Japan, and Canada. This service includes a search of foreign databases at the USPTO and other databases, an analysis of the most relevant foreign patent references, electronic copies of English abstracts, and a formal report.
XI. FILE WRAPPER SEARCH
This provides an official copy of the entire file history for a particular patent, and can be obtained by an order of the complete file from the US Patent Office. Certified copies are available for an additional charge.
XII. ASSIGNMENT/INVENTOR SEARCH
This search focuses on patents assigned to a person or particular company. This type of search provides information on patents owned by a particular company, or patents issued to a particular inventor. This service includes a categorized listing of patent references, electronic copies of listed patent references, a discussion of the most relevant patent references (if applicable), and a formal report.