Inventors and small business entrepreneurs often try to save money on the patent process by conducting their own patent search, rather than hiring a professional. Patents, of course, are a matter of public record, and with modern search engines, even a beginner can learn a lot about patents that might resemble their new invention. Free resources from the USPTO and from Google Patents make it seem easy to do your own patent search. Unfortunately, if you're not experienced in proper patent search techniques, and you lack the tools, experience, and databases to look deeper, you'll miss a lot.
We highly recommend inventors and entrepreneurs do an initial patent search themselves as they develop their invention, in order to get a better idea of what prior inventions might resemble their own project. However, before you embark on the long and possibly costly process of a patent application, it's vital to obtain the information that only a professional patent search firm knows how to find.
Rejections Due to Insufficient Research
Patents commonly get rejected due to a lack of thorough research. A patent search professional will take the time to make sure there are no issues with prior art or similar patents. Since there have been millions of patents awarded within the past century, it takes time, dedication, and an experienced eye to sift through all these patents and determine if an invention meets the requirements of being unique and useful. Because much of the relevant information in a patent is communicated through diagrams or drawings, the searching techniques that you're used to utilizing online aren't always the most effective way to find what you need.
The average length of time it takes to get a patent is 2 years. It's devastating to wait that long only to learn that your patent is denied due to a lack of novelty. Professional patent search will help you see the same information that a patent examiner will see when researching your application, thereby enabling you to frame your application in a way that will ensure approval.
How Patents Become Buried
One of the risks of bypassing a professional patent search is that you can end up infringing upon various unknown patents. Just because an invention isn't widely known to the public, doesn't mean it's acceptable to use the idea for your own invention. Many inventors patent prototypes but are never able to bring their products to market due to lack of funding.
Out of the millions of patents that have been approved, hundreds of thousands are for unknown, undeveloped products. Patents last up to 20 years before they expire. Infringing upon an existing patent can be extremely costly, so it's essential to do a proper patent search. If you are willing to go far enough to apply for a patent, you should take all the necessary steps to avoid the pitfalls that novices commonly face when they don't seek the help of experienced patent professionals.
Contact Global Patent Solutions for Professional Search Services
Trying to conduct your own patent search can lead to errors that slow down the approval process. These variables make it very challenging for an inventor or entrepreneur to rely on a DIY patent search, whereas working with a reliable and reputable patent researcher will give you the best results. Here at Global Patent Solutions, we make it our mission to provide reliable data and undeniable value to our clients. Contact us at 877.424.9039 to learn more about how we can help you successfully patent your invention.