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 USPTO.gov.
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How to Research Patent Litigation
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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.
Put 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 wanted.
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How to Research If a Product Has a Patent
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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 Need
Product
Product packaging and literature
Computer and internet access

Tracking Down Patent NumbersExamine the product and all

How to Research Patent Numbers
Legal
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 internation
How to Research Ideas to Patent
Legal
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 Need
Everyday objects
Internet
Interview questions or questionnaire (optional)
Technology & Patent Research
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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 countries.
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In Brief: Research in Motion and NTP resolve patent litigation (InfoWorld)
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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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