Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about United States Patent and Trademark Office and other Invention topics.
A proper and complete US patent search requires a professional. It is a painstaking process in which multiple searches by category, sub-categories, patent numbers and keywords must be undertaken.
The US Patent and Trade Office has an online database that is limited. It is searchable only from 1979 to the present. They do have satellite libraries that are more complete, but not even all of them have the comprehensive list. And even if you do have access to the entire database, only a professional has the skill and expertise to identify and examine similar products to establish that your invention is unique and in what ways. There are many subtleties involved.