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