How to Research for a Patent

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Patent research is a tedious but important part of the patent process.
Infringing on a patent can result in a lawsuit, so you need to make
sure your idea isn't already taken. Here are the steps you can take to
research for a patent.Difficulty:Moderately ChallengingInstructions
Patent Research TipsWrite the details of your patent project including
keywords that describe or define your creation.
Visit the United
States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in person or online. You
can go to the main USPTO in Alexandria, Va., or one of the USPTO
libraries located throughout the United States. If you can't make it
in person, you can visit
Search the keywords that you
listed in
Many patents end up at the center of court cases, and these cases can
have far-reaching ramifications for the companies involved, or
invalidate a patent. Unfortunately, the U.S. Patent and Trademark
Office, USPTO, does not keep track of patent litigation. Many of the
databases are available to paying members only, but there are some
options.Difficulty:ModerateInstructions Free DatabasesIf you are
researching a patent in a specific case, find the case number.
the case number into the U.S. Courts' Public Access to Court
Electronic Records database, PACER, and you will most likely be
rewarded with more information in legalese than you ever
Search PatentFizz. PatentFizz is a
Knowing what patents are associated with a particular product is
important when discussing prior art (products or methods that are
related to an invention) in a patent application. Moreover, this
knowledge can save a company millions of dollars in patent litigation
because it helps guard against known patent infringement. Fortunately,
the law makes it relatively easy to conduct such research. By being a
patent sleuth, you can find out if a product is protected by one or
more patents.Difficulty:ModerateInstructions Things You'll
Product packaging and literature
Computer and
internet access

Tracking Down Patent
NumbersExamine the product and all

Patent numbers are used to access valuable information on items such
as the inventor's name, patent issue date and the purpose and use of
the original item. Finding information on a specific invention is
simple if you have the item's patent number. The United States Patent
and Trademark Office maintains a searchable database of information
regarding patents.Difficulty:Moderately EasyInstructions Visit the
United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website and enter
the patent number into the search engine.
Review the search result
for that specific patent number, which includes the inventor's name,
patent issue date, application number, filing date, United States and
Hobbies, Games & Toys
When you create a patent you join a league of inventors who have
helped shape how we work, live and spend our leisure time. From simple
inventions that make tasks easier--like the rubber band--to creative
leisure time inventions like the hula-hoop or television, an idea for
a patent generally comes from personal experience. When researching
ideas to patent, consider hobbies or tasks you do everyday that you
could make easier or safer for yourself and others. Build on an idea
by learning about successful patents that shaped the current product
or tool.Difficulty:ModerateInstructions Things You'll
Everyday objects
Interview questions or
questionnaire (optional)
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issues patent protection
for inventors with technical inventions for a period of 20 years.
Taking great care in designing the patent will increase the chances of
receiving approval from the USPTO and keep legal litigation from
competitors away during the patent's life. To do this, you will want
to do some patent research. SignificanceA technology patent bestows
upon the inventor the power to forbid someone else from using,
manufacturing, or selling the same concept in the United States for a
period of 20 years. It does not extend this protection outside of the
United States unless the inventor seeks coverage in other
Technical Pat

Remember when Steve Jobs famously said that Apple (AAPL)
did “no market research” to figure out what consumers want? Well,
it turns out that wasn’t exactly the case, as new documents
unearthed during the Apple-Samsung (005930) patent trial reveal.
Network World’s

InfoWorld - Research in Motion (RIM), the company behind
the BlackBerry wireless e-mail device, has resolved its patent dispute
with NTP, the companies announced Wednesday. As part of the settlement
to resolve all legal matters between the companies, NTP and RIM will
enter in to licensing agreement, the terms of which will be finalized
in upcoming weeks, RIM said in a statement. In 2002, a jury in the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia found that
RIM willingly infringed patents held by NTP, an intellectual property
holding company in Arlington, Virginia. NTP was incorporated to hold
patents obtained by Tom Campana for a wireless communications s

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