by Kim Lavine
It doesn’t make sense to go to all the time, trouble and money of filing a patent application if somebody already has a patent for the same product. You need to do a search of existing patents to make sure that there is no “Prior Art” in existence in a prior patent that would predate your patent application.
What is Prior Art?
- Prior Art refers to subject matter or technology that was previously published in connection with an existing patent.
If you find existing prior art that is critical to your invention in the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s database of patents for other inventions, you may not be able to patent yours.
How Do I Search Patents?
- You can search patents at the United States Patent & Trademark Office, USPTO, www.uspto.gov.
- Log on to the Patents link, then choose Search.
It can take a little patience getting around through the search process. Start broad, then eliminate everything that is not related. Each patent that comes up in your search will be assigned a number; make a note of all the patent numbers that you find that are similar to your idea so that your attorney can reference them.
You can save hundreds of dollars doing your own patent search. Your attorney will gladly take all the information you found and apply it to the search, saving you money. Don’t be disappointed if you find something very similar to yours.
Write your own patent
The problem with patents is they’re time-consuming. The solution is the Provisional Patent.
An excerpt from MOMMY MILLIONAIRE
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