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Patent Searching Before You Hire a Patent Attorney

25 + Tips focused on Google Patents as the primary search tool so professional patent search experience is not required

1. Google Patents is the easiest search tool, and perhaps the best

If you can do a Google search you can use Google patents. You don’t need to know anything about Boolean searching and you don’t need to know much of anything about patent law. Type in a few key terms and see if your invention is new. Print the document or write down fully identifiable information for the most relevant document your find. (Example: US Pat. No. 1,234,567)

The first step of patent searching:

2. Write out a feature list:

Text searching is the most common form of patent searching. In order to make the most of text searching, you should work from a feature list. Then you can search combinations of features using tools like Google patents. Write down terms and phrases that are important to your invention.

driver's seat, seat warmer, headrest, electric motor, tilting headrest

Zero in on a phrase using quotes like below, but be careful. Using quotes removes all documents without the exact quote.

driver's seat, seat warmer, headrest, "electric motor" tilting headrest
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Novelty Search Concepts and Strategy using Google Patents

Several patent search strategies and concepts can improve a novelty search. Below are several that are useful when using Google Patents as the primary search tool.

The Novelty Search

First, what is a novelty search? A novelty search is also known as a prior art search and a patentability search. The novelty search is the search that an inventor would use to determine if an invention was new. These types of searches seek to understand what the prior art teaches.

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Google Patents Glossary

“About” Link – Located at the bottom of the Google patents homepage, Links to the Google Patents overview page describing search rules.

Google Patents About link

Abstract Search – Searches the abstract of documents using the characters “AB=”. (Did not seem to be working properly at the time of writing)

Google Patents abstract search

ADJ/x Operator – Search operator that favors results with terms that are within x words of one another and in the order specified.

Google Patents ADJ/x operator
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How to find a Baton Rouge Patent Attorney:

A local attorney can make all the difference.

Baton Rouge?

Baton Rouge is actually a good place to look for a patent lawyer for a few reasons:

  • Baton Rouge has a diverse and qualified group of attorneys.
  • Baton Rouge is one of the more economical cities in the region if you are looking for patent services.
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Where to Patent Search

The patent search tool you use depends on why your are searching.

Google Patent Search

For a quick search or for the novice searcher, Google Patents may be the best tool on the web. The search engine accepts natural language search queries and can deliver quality relevant results quickly with a user experience that is like the Google web searches. 

Google Patent Search

While Google’s patent search in many respects is not as powerful as traditional Boolean search tools, it more than makes up for that disadvantage by being very easy to use and because it ranks results by relevance.  Ranking results is extremely important to the novice searcher who is less familiar with techniques that narrow the number of results to a manageable list.

US Patent Database

Link to USPTO Patent full text searcch

While limited to issued US patents, the USPTO Patent Search is a powerful Boolean search tool. This may be an advantage in many situations as it allows for the search of individual sections of patents and combinations using AND/OR type operators. However, if you aren’t taking advantage of the extra power offered by such limitations, the USPTO patent search may not be the best option.

USPTO Application Search

The USPTO Patent Application search is the same type of search as the USPTO patent search, but it covers published patent applications.

Other Search Tools

Professional Searches

For a Louisiana inventor those search options are a great start. After doing some initial searching, a Louisiana patent attorney may be able to help you get a professional search which may be an in house search or a third party professional search.

By John Edel
Baton Rouge Patent Attorney

Don’t forget a business plan while seeking patent protection

1611-business-patent-successMost inventors hope to either actively participate in the commercialization of their invention or license the invention so they may receive a royalty for such commercialization efforts. Working with a patent attorney to seek patent protection is only a portion of the typical patent based business. Continue reading “Don’t forget a business plan while seeking patent protection”

Are you eligible for reduced patent fees?

Patent Fee Eligibility Chart

Eligibility for reduced fees should be assessed in light of the specific regulations that govern that eligibility. Although eligibility requirements depend on a number of factors, many of which are not covered in this post, the figure above illustrates some of the key concepts that govern eligibility for small entity status and micro entity status at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

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