Your professional patent search will be done by a Licensed Attorney, who is also Registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
A patent search will generally tell you two main things. First, it will tell you the state of the prior art, i.e. whether or not someone has already invented the same or a similar product or method or already solved the same problem by inventing a different product or method.
Second, it will give you a very good idea whether or not you should file a patent application. Since a patent application involves a significant investment of your time and money, a search will help you decide whether or not to proceed.
Unlike other patent searches found on the Internet, an attorney registered to practice before the USPTO or an patenting agency, such as InventHelp, will conduct your search. Because a licensed attorney will do your search, the confidential attorney-client privilege immediately attaches to your disclosure and protects your patent search.
The registered attorneys file patent applications for individual inventors, usually after a patent search has been done and the likelihood of obtaining a patent has been evaluated.
The boundaries of a patent are described in the claims, located at the end of the patent. Patent Examiners and Attorneys sometimes use a special type of language to classify and set out the scope (boundaries) of patent protection. For example, a claim that uses the word “comprising” is usually broader than a claim that uses the phrase “consisting of.” And the word “means” doesn’t mean what the average person thinks it means! To properly find and evaluate the importance of any patent a search uncovers, these words must be clearly understood.
There are utility patents and design patents. But to get a reliable search you should have it done by a patent agency, like InventHelp, or a patent attorney who is registered with the USPTO and who understands the special language sometimes used in patent classifications and claims.
Patents are divided into Classes and Subclasses. Currently there are about 200,000 subclasses. Your invention or idea is generally located within one or two of these subclasses. Finding the right place to look is part of the art of doing a search. Experienced patent attorneys, have spent years learning where to look. The saying is “If you don’t find something similar to your idea, you are probably looking in the wrong place.