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Before getting a Patent, most inventors start with a Patent Search (sometimes called a Knockout Search), to validate the originality of their idea and see similar inventions that are already patented.
An International Patent Search covers the USA as well as the 153 countries who are part of the Patent Cooperation Treaty.
*Note: If you are looking to commercialize an invention solely in the USA or Canada, you should consider a US Patent Search instead.
Attempting to file a patent without conducting a search is likely to result in a costly and failed patent application. There are millions of patents filed all over the world, so it’s important to make sure you’re actually patenting something new.
The easy way.
The patent database is publicly available, but there are more than 10 million patents registered and it is extremely difficult to use. Patent lawyers know how and what to search for and which existing inventions will be important to consider during your upcoming patent applications.
Maximize the reach of your invention.
Searching in multiple countries means setting yourself up to register patents in multiple countries - increasing your ability to license, sell, protect, and otherwise commercialize your invention.
Set yourself up for success.
A fast and affordable search through Goodlawyer is the first step toward registering a patent, which is often critical to commercializing your new invention.
First, you'll have a kick-off call with your Good Lawyer to discuss your current situation. After the call, your lawyer will carefully complete your Report. They will share a copy of the final document.
1. Project kick-off call to gather information, advise you and answer questions
2.Patent searches in the US Patent Office databases
3. A report on the searches, including similar or otherwise relevant patents
Pick a time to discuss your Patent Search with a patent lawyer.
Tell your lawyer what your invention is, providing as much detail as possible so they can conduct the search properly.
Your lawyer will send you the results of their searches.
Get your paperwork done the easy way so you can get back to running your business.
Yes, absolutely. You can use the Goodlawyer platform to send messages and files. If substantially more communication is needed, your lawyer may request another call.
International Patent Searches take some time. Depending on the number of countries you’re searching, a proper search can take up to four weeks. This is a critical first step to having successful patent applications so it’s important to be thorough and not rush.
Generally yes, but there are a couple of common areas where patents can be missed. First, patents that have been filed but not published in the database will never be uncovered. That means searches are likely to miss the last 18 months of data. Second, this search only includes English-language patent databases. This doesn’t include non-English countries or databases of academic journals.
Patents only cover new and inventive technical ideas and improvements. This covers a wide swath of physical products and software, but will generally not include mere abstract ideas. Patents don’t cover branding (this is protected by trademark) or creative expression (this is protected by copyright). Your lawyer will be able to give you a better idea on your kick off call. Additionally, for more information on intellectual property in general, you can check out our blog.
A Provisional Patent Application is essentially a more simple placeholder application that can be filed to save your spot in line for 12 months while you work out the granular details of your invention and produce a formal Patent Application. It still includes things like a description and drawings, but does not require as high a level of detail or include other critical parts of the application like declarations and oaths, etc. The provisional patent is NOT reviewed by the patent office and will not roll-over into an official patent application upon expiration. You must file a formal patent application before your provisional patent expires. Note that not all countries have a Provisional Patent process — your lawyer can determine if and where a provisional application is required.
Each country that a patent is filed in has its own patent laws. In most countries, patents last approximately 20 years, but you can always ask your lawyer if you have specific questions about the duration of a patent in a specific country.
No, although a similar mechanism exists in Canada to help inventors claim their spot in the patent application line. If you are looking to file a patent in Canada, talk to your lawyer to see if this option will work for your specific situation.
Successful patents last for 20 years from the date they are first filed with the office. Your patent will be publicly available for competitors to search and read, so it’s important to be aware of your patent’s expiration date and be ready to renew at the appropriate time.
You might need a local lawyer depending on which countries you decide to file patents in. Your lawyer will let you know how to proceed with your applications after the patent search.
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