A patent search is necessary before you start the patent application process. You can compare it to a business plan. Of course, you wouldn’t want to start a business without a business plan. The same goes for a patent application. You shouldn’t file for it when you haven’t performed a patent search yet. Although it’s an additional cost on the patent application itself, it will surely save you some money when you find out that what you want to patent cannot be patented.
What is a Patent Application Search?
Patents are only given to inventions that are new, functional, and practical. The governing body that issues patents is tasked to differentiate one patent application to another to make sure that the patent application is for an invention that’s fresh and non-obvious.
The Two Main Benefits an Inventor Would Get for Performing a Patent Search
1. Be confident with the issuance of a patent for your invention.
When you are an inventor, you will ask the questions, “Is my invention unique?” and “Can I file for a patent?” at some point. But hold your horses.
Before filing for a patent application, you would surely want to know if your invention can be patented. If you know from the start that the chance to get your invention patented is low, why would you want to waste your time, effort, and money to pursue a patent?
That is the main reason why you need to perform a patent search. A patent search will identify which inventions are similar to yours, and help you become sure if your invention can be patented.
However, you have to understand that a patent application search is not easy whether your invention already exists or not. What if something is similar to the one you invented? What if the one you invented is a mix of previous inventions or is an improved version of an existing one?
How different should be your invention from the ones that already exist to get a patent? These are the questions that a patent search can answer. If you want your invention to qualify for a patent, it should pass the patenting criteria—the invention should be new, functional, and non-obvious.
2. By checking the pre-existing inventions, you will improve the chance of getting your invention patented.
Even if you think that your invention is unique, you should still check some pre-existing inventions that are similar to yours. You need to identify who you are competing with. Since the patent search will show you which inventions are comparable to yours, you will be able to slightly change or modify yours before you apply for a patent. When you make your invention unique before the actual filing of the patent application process, the chance of getting your invention patented increases.
Another tip is that you make sure that your patent search would not only focus on theUS patent databases alone but also international databases. Therefore, you have to perform a comprehensive patent search first before you file for it.