It is natural for an inventor to presume that the brilliant brainwave which resulted in an innovative idea is ‘original’ in all respects and no body has thought of this before. It is also natural for the inventor to proceed to protect his idea by patenting it. But before acquiring a patent, the innovator or inventor has to find out whether his idea has been patented before. To do this he needs to do a patent search and for that there are patenting agencies like Invent Help that could help.
It is the responsibility of the United States Patent office to grant patents for any invention or innovation. Since there is no dearth of new inventors and no shortage of patent applications, the office is flooded with more than 350,000 new patent applications every year. To hasten the process of patenting and also to reduce their work load, the USPTO encourages inventors to do the patent search themselves. The USPTO lists all patents that have been granted since 1970 and a patent search can be done online by typing related keywords. This service is available free.
Before conducting any free online patent search, it is important to remember that the USPTO database contains some 33 million patent documents which are regularly updated every week. According to instructions given in the USPTO website, there are seven steps to do the patent search, which must be followed one after the other. Using the USPTO database, you can not however access patents issued prior to 1976, unless you start the search with the class and subclass alone. Therefore it is necessary for you to identify the class and subclass of your invention to do a search of pre-1976 patents also.
In case your online search does not yield any positive result, it could be a cost-effective and a wise decision to consult a reputed patent attorney or patent agent. These are skilled, experienced and knowledgeable professionals, who can help you with patent searches as well as advise you on other patent-related issues. Since they also double up as your legal counselor and spokesperson, they could even argue on your behalf and fight your case, in case the USPTO rejects your patent application. Instances are not rare when further design alterations and modifications are done on a design patent and re-submitted for their approval.
A rough and preliminary search done by a patent agency like Invent Help can reveal whether your invention idea has been patented even at a conceptual level as explained on Invent Help reviews. A patent search costs a few hundred dollars, of course the cost varies according to the nature of the invention. You also have the option to have a comprehensive patent search done, which will cost you around a thousand dollars.
It is very common that a patent will get rejected as the idea or invention, however novel or brilliant it may seem apparently, has been patented before. Thus it is wise to check whether the idea has been patented or not, before starting to develop a working model. Once you know that a patent has already been granted, you can further work on how to make your idea or invention different and unique, which will be treated as good as new.