Searching Issued Patents

Running a patent search is critical for any inventor with serious ambitions of success. After all, there’s no point investing years of your life or thousands of dollars into something that’s already been done by somebody else, and a patent search is the best way to make sure that doesn’t happen. This was not always easy, however.

It used to be that the only way to run a patent search was to pay a patent attorney to do it for you. Prior to the Internet, these attorneys basically had a monopoly on patent searches because they were the only ones with access to US Patent and Trademark Office files. The Internet has changed this dramatically. For one, you can visit the USPTO’s website and run a patent search yourself, for free. If you want to search issued patents (patents that people already have), click “Quick Search” or “Advanced Search” under the “Issued Patents” section.

The only problem with the USPTO’s website is that it is not exactly the most user-friendly resource out there. Luckily, there’s a much easier-to-use alternative: Google Patent Search. Like the USPTO, Google Patent Search lets you browse through all patents on file for free. Unlike the USPTO, however, Google makes this process as easy and painless as the Google search engine itself. For those of you who have never run a patent search from the USPTO site, this is a serious improvement! However, free search can not be compared with a professional. If you don’t want to waste your time on the research, you should hire a professional patent agency, like Invent Help.

Here’s how it works. First, visit the URL above. Then, just like you would search for something on Google.com, type in what best describes the patent you’re looking for. For example, let’s say you thought you were the first person to invent the electric guitar, and you wanted to run a search to see if someone invented it already. You would type “electric guitar” into the search box as shown below. Then click “Search Patents.”

Following is a page of search results showing patents that match what you searched for. (Unfortunately for you, the electric guitar has been invented and re-invented many times over!) At this point, you can click on any patent that looks interesting or relevant. We’ll click the first one on the page.

This brings us to a much more detailed page about the electric guitar. You can read about the patent’s claims, learn when it was filed and issued, the inventor who has it, who the patent examiner was, the patent number, and more. You can also click “Read This Patent” to see the actual, scanned-in patent that is on file with the USPTO. Scrolling down will also enable to you to see other patents that have referenced this one – in this case, many other patents have.

This process is repeatable for virtually any patent search you might want to run. With some practice and effort, you can usually do all of your patent searching by yourself, for free, but if this seems like too much of a hassle you can always seek professional help, such as InventHelp agency.

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Getting a Patent in the U.S.

Getting a patent in the United States is an odyssey that begins when a patent application is filed. As I’ve written elsewhere, many clients begin with a provisional patent application, which remains pending for one year and then expires. Before the end of that year, if the inventor wishes to continue pursuing patent protection in the U.S., a regular utility patent application must be filed. There are patent agencies, like Invent Help, that could help in the process.

Once a patent application is filed, nothing substantive happens for about two years. That’s the hardest thing for most inventors to accept – the USPTO is so backlogged that it takes them about two years (sometimes more) to look at newly filed applications. (There are ways of speeding it up, particularly for older inventors and those willing to pay a few thousand more dollars in filing fees.)

However, while the USPTO may not look at the merits of a patent application for quite a while, things are happening. Initially, the Office will check the received papers, confirm that everything has been received, and check that the patent drawings are suitable for publication. (If anything has been omitted, a letter will be sent providing a time period for reply.) Although it does not affect many patent applications, the USPTO also confirms that there is no technology in the patent application that would pose a national security risk if it were to be publicly disclosed. Three to four weeks after filing, an official filing receipt is sent.

Virtually all patent applications are published 18 months after the earliest claimed filing date. This ensures that the public has access to new technologies, and provides the inventors with a official publication of their patent application. Once an application has been published, the entire file of the patent application is public record and can be accessed online.

Eventually, the patent application is assigned to a patent examiner. Patent examiners are individuals with at least a bachelor’s degree in science or engineering who review the merits of the application for compliance with the patent laws. Each patent examiner specializes in a particular area of technology. By USPTO practice, work on a patent application is always supervised by a Primary Examiner, who has seniority and has been certified to act on behalf of the USPTO. In many cases, though, the actual work of examining a patent application is done by a junior examiner whose work is reviewed by the Primary Examiner.

There are many nuances to the patent prosecution process, it can take years, and the outcome is always uncertain. However, hiring professionals, like InventHelp agency, good patent searching, thoughtful patent application drafting, and a hands-on approach in communicating with the patent examiner can increase the chances of getting a commercially valuable patent.

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Protect Your Work and Creation from Competitors Through IP Rights

If there is such a term as real estate property, which is oftentimes called physical asset, there is also intellectual property. Judging from the first word, you may have an inkling that pertains with something from the mind. To know whether you are wrong or right, take time to go through this basic information on the topic.

Sometimes known as IP, it refers to any design, brand, and inventions, which a business or person has legal rights. There are also professional patent agencies such as InventHelp that could explain everything and guide you as you can see from InventHelp reviews. Now, there are common kinds of ownership protection rights. Among these are:

Trademark – comprises of sounds, words, logos, symbols, or signs that differentiates your services or products from the offers of your competitors.

Copyright – consists of written and, sometimes, published works such as songs, books, artistic creations, Web content, and films.

Patent – points to commercial productions such as merchandise or a process.

Design – refers to plans or layouts such as computer models or drawings.

Now that you are aware of the three types of IP rights, you must also know that it may either be of the following:

Registered – You need to submit an application to authority organizations or agencies for recognition. If you fail to apply, it means that other individuals or parties have the freedom to exploit your hard work. You require registration for most inventions and designs.

Unregistered – Oftentimes, you automatically acquire legal rights over certain properties such as database, confidential information, trading secrets, and common law trademarks. Your ownership over such assets is immediate since they are not physical objects.

As we said before, you have to enlist with the IPO for security and recognition. This is essential if you are operating locally. But, what if you are conducting business or inventing a product in other countries? In this case, you have to consult with the World Trade Organization or WTO, especially if the place is a member of this global agency. This is important since member nations require IP protection in their laws.

This means that before you perform overseas transactions, you have to read enforcement procedures and intellectual property regulations. You can also check out world news to obtain general business details and economy updates. You can easily find market reports and data online to aid your enterprise or venture.

As a final note, you have to know that the information here is basic. You have to obtain complete insight about IP rights and laws before acquiring full ownership over your work so hiring professionals like Invent Help agency is advisable.

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