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US Patent Search
New Inventions Success

US Patent Search

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A US patent search can be very important for new inventions success. This is the first step to insure that your new invention is properly protected with a patent. In order to obtain a patent, however, the new invention must truly be new. To determine whether the invention is actually a new invention, new companies and those with new inventions need to conduct a through patent search of prior inventions. It is acceptable to perform a free search initially to prescreen your idea. However, before you spend money on a full patent, it is a good idea to have a US patent search performed by a competent patent attorney.

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Why a US Patent Search Versus
Other Countries?

The US, even after all the financial turmoil, is still one of the largest economies in the world. It is an excellent place to plant and nurture your innovative idea. If the potential of your idea appears to be international in its market scope, then it is worthwhile to consider patents in other target countries

Prior Art

Prior art, as it is called, entails all information that has been made available to the public in any form. This includes prior patent publications, periodicals, thesis papers, web publications, and any other information that has been made available to the public in the past.

To perform an exhaustive patent search is all but impossible. One would have to search every publication in the world to see if there is any relevance to the new invention. This exhaustive search would include electronic documents and catalogs as well as paper cataloged collections. A more practical solution is to search a subset of the vast collection of publicly disseminated information. The subset must be large enough to reasonably find any article of significance, and at the same time not be cost prohibitive. How does one strike this balance between performing a reasonably-thorough search and performing the search with a finite amount of resources? It is a delicate process, but a process that should be performed, as explained below, before seeking patent protection.

The Importance of a US Patent Search

Patents can be valuable, even critical assets, to startups and to those with new inventions. However, procuring a patent, like any other worthwhile business endeavor, takes a lot of time, effort and money. Because there are so many resources that go into obtaining a patent, seeking patent protection without first performing a prior art search is extremely unwise. Why would anyone want to invest so many resources without a reasonable assurance that the invention is new? Successful companies that succeed and thrive would rarely, if ever, conduct business in such a fashion.

In addition to protecting against wasted resources, a thorough patent search may reinforce the strength of any patent that might eventually issue. Patents that have not been thoroughly searched may get invalidated by the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) if prior art turns up that teaches the new invention. Not performing a patent search prior to filing for a patent is certainly not a way to begin a startup. Can you imagine building a business around a patent only to have it invalidated because a thorough patent search wasn't performed? While the patent office performs a search in the process of examining a patent application, the patent office has limited resources and thus may not conduct a very extensive search.

Professional Searches

After an initial screening, those with new inventions, should turn to competent patent attorneys to perform prior-art searches, as patent attorneys are experienced in balancing the need to perform a reasonably thorough search and performing it with a low cost . Patent attorneys recognize the importance of performing a thorough patent search in order to strengthen any patent that may eventually be issued based on that patent search.


New inventions can be great assets to startup companies, if they are properly protected with patents. So take the first step in obtaining a patent, by performing a preliminary free US patent search. Next have a more thorough US patent search performed by a competent patent attorney who will balance resources with the need to perform a thorough search and ensure the strength of any patent arising out of the search

Good luck to those out there with new inventions! Be wise about how you manage your valuable ideas. Out of great ideas, can come great opportunities!

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