What is a patent search?
It is a search carried out to discover if an idea has already been patented. It is an essential first step in patenting your idea because it will help you word your patent application so it does not infringe another patent. A professional patent researcher will complete a worldwide patent search using specialised techniques including classification code system searching and cross referencing as well as keyword searches and therefore is often worth the extra money. Patent searchers often uses several worldwide databases which are not easily accessible to the individual inventor and are more up to date than internet search tools.
Why commission a worldwide patent search?
- A professional patent search can save you a lot of time and money if a match is found and a patent cannot be obtained. It is better to establish this as soon as possible to minimise time and money spent on an idea that is not unique.
- The idea may be an improvement on existing prior art but could still be patentable. Therefore you would need to do the search to find all similar patents and then draft your patent application carefully to make sure you are not infringing an existing patent.
- A complete report will show what areas of your idea need further improvement if they overlap existing patents.
- Potential investors or representatives of industry will expect a patent search to have been conducted to show whether there is potential in an idea being granted a patent.
- If the invention is found to be original through the patent search, the results will help the wording of the patent application so it is more likely to be granted.
The results of a patent search
Make sure any patent search you commission includes a complete search report so you can look through the patents and also a consultation with a professional to ensure that you can understand the implications. You should expect to pay between £450 and £850 for a good quality worldwide patent search.
How to apply for a patent
This section tells you everything you need to know about completing a Patent Application includes info on: writing a description, claims and abstract and completing patent drawings.
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