Searching for Prior Invention Patents

Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Searching US Patents and other Invention topics.

How do I begin my patent search?

Searching for Prior Invention Patents

There are a variety of ways you can search available databases to determine if your new invention is worthy of a patent. Two ways include the Scientific and Technical Information Center of the US Patent and Trademark Office and its Patent Search Room. The Scientific and Technical Information Center is located at 1C35 Madison West, 600 Dulany Street in Alexandria Va. It contains, for public use, more than 120,000 volumes and scientific and technical books in a variety of languages. It also houses 40+ million foreign patents on paper, CD-ROM, microfiche and microfilm, journals of patent organizations as well as science and technology periodicals. This center is open from 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday but not on federal holidays.

The Patent Search Room is a unique place where you can search and examine on computer workstations the US patents that have been granted since 1790. A variety of classification methods are used in this office as you can imagine how much information must be stored to cover this many patents. You can visit the Patent Search Room Monday through Friday, from 8am to 8pm, except on federal holidays. Its address is: Madison East, First Floor, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandra Va. Although these patent searches may assist you in filing your own patent, a visit to Va. may not be necessary to adequately conduct a patent search.

You should obtain more information from the US Patent and Trademark Office before you make such a trip. You should also obtain more information about what is available in the nearest Patent and Trademark Depository Library, which are also administered as ways to conduct a patent search.



Nobody has commented on this tip yet. Be the first.


URL: (optional)


Not finding the advice and tips you need on this Invention Tip Site? Request a Tip Now!

Guru Spotlight
Phyllis Serbes