Patent Searches

Patent Searches

Typically, a search of the prior art is conducted to determine whether an invention meets the novelty and non-obviousness requirements for patentability. You can search for prior art online or at a patent depository library. However, a good search generally takes considerable time to complete, unless you choose to hire an attorney, or a service such as LegalZoom, that specializes in patent searches.

Because Provisional Applications for Patent are not examined for patentability by the USPTO, you can secure a filing date with a Provisional Application and then use the one-year "patent pending" window to conduct a more detailed search.

Your Non-Provisional Patent Application should always emphasize the differences between your invention and prior art. In addition, you should describe the history of inventions in related fields. This history will help explain why your invention would not be the next logical step in the evolution of the existing products (i.e., why it is non-obvious).

In addition, remember that patents are not limited to completely new technology. They can also cover significant improvements to (or uses for) existing inventions. For example, contrary to popular belief, Thomas Edison did not actually invent the light bulb. Instead, he improved upon a 50-year-old idea and patented the improvements.
 

 
  • Comparing Design Patents to Copyrights and Trademarks
    Most people understand that it's important to take steps to protect their creative design. The confusing part can be figuring out what type(s) of intellectual property protection are needed. Each type of protection covers certain subject matter and offers specific rights to its owner. Thus, it's...
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  • Comparing Design Patents and Utility Patents
    You've finally created a really unique but practical chair - something that would look perfect in the pages of Architectural Digest. You're also savvy enough to realize you should look into protective legal steps before unveiling it to the public (and rival designers). So you'll just apply for a...
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  • Definition of a Design Patent
    A design patent is a form of intellectual property protection which allows an inventor to protect the original shape or surface ornamentation of a useful manufactured article. This applies to any unique form or otherwise perceivable design features of an object - for instance, a chair, table, hand...
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  • Filing Requirements for Design Patents
    There are several components to a design patent application, though the bulk of the preparation time will typically center on the drawings section. The main elements are:
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  • Design Patent Searches
    http://www.legalzoom.com/patent-search/patent-search-overview.htmlDuring the application examination process, a search of prior patents and published applications ("the prior art") is conducted by the USPTO to determine whether your design is truly novel. There are of course advantages to having a...
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  • Introduction to Design Patents
    For years you've been tinkering with the objects in your house to give them more pizzazz. The kitchen clock has been cleverly reshaped to look like a cup of coffee. You've refitted your lamps with shades funky enough to match the retro theme of a room. Even the pet's food bowls have had a serious...
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