Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Obtaining a Patent and other Invention topics.
Obtaining an invention patent requires serious due diligence before the patent application is even filed. Even if you think your novel idea or product is unique enough to warrant a patent, you may be surprised to learn that someone else thought of and applied for it first. If that's the case, you don't want to spend time and money to help patent that invention. Your search should include U.S. and foreign patents as well as any available published applications to date.
You can file a patent application prior to this search but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) advises you search first. The USPTO maintains comprehensive databases of millions of patents in its library system so they can ensure the rights of inventors. To search patents, you should locate the nearest Patent and Trademark Depository Library and talk to a search professional who can help you set up a search strategy. If you are new to patent searching, you may find a local librarian who can assist you in getting started as well. But, considering that patent searches are complicated and time consuming, you may also want to consider hiring a registered patent practitioner or attorney to handle the search for you. More information on patent searching can be obtained on websites like uspto.gov and InventHelp.com.