Patent searches are a vital step in the invention process. There are several types of searches – The type that the inventor will usually want to do first is a patentability search to determine the chances of the patent office granting a patent on the invention. A second type of search that is important prior to introduction of a new product is an infringement search and opinion.
Prior to investment of substantial money in filing patent applications and commercialization of a product it is useful to have an experienced patent searcher perform a more extensive search. Due to the complexities of the patent law, it is always advisable to have a patent attorney or a patent agency to provide the final opinion as to patentability or infringement issues as written on https://kulturehub.com/inventhelp-support-inventors/.
USPTO Patent Databases- It has become much easier to do at least a casual patent search since the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has placed online the full text of U.S. patents. The patents issued since 1976 are searchable in their full text, while patents issued prior to 1976 are only searchable by patent numbers or by the current patent office classification system.
The full text of the patents issued since 1976 are available both in full text (without drawings) and in patent images (with drawings). It is necessary to download and install on your computer a software plug-in, in order to view these patent images. A disadvantage of this software is that you can only view one page image at a time, greatly lengthening the time to print the patent.
It is still possible to do an old fashioned search through paper patents. The best place to do this is at the US Patent and Trademark Office in Arlington, Virginia. The main advantage to the USPTO’s collection is that it is arranged by technologies in the US classification system. It can be easier to compare several patents when you have the paper in front of you vs. the electronic systems where you can view only one page at a time online.
In addition, there is at least one patent depository library in each state. These libraries are usually part of a large city or university library and contain large collections of U.S. patents (at least the last 20 years and usually more). It is necessary to use electronic tools to find the numbers of the patents in your search at such libraries and then to look up the patents on microfilm. Follow https://twitter.com/inventhelp to get the latest news about patents and patenting process.