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Do a Prior Art Search

Hello! In our previous videos we discussed the first two steps an inventor should consider before filing a patent application.

Those steps are:

In this video, we will discuss the third step.

Conducting a Prior Art Search

Basically, do some due diligence on your invention and ask the question:

Is my invention really new?

This is not a legal requirement but it might save you the expense of filing a patent application on an invention that is doomed to be rejected by the patent office.

Also, assuming that the invention is in fact new, a good search will allow you to write a much better patent application. One that focuses on the problems of the prior art and the solution that is your invention.

Doing a general search of the internet using any search engine is a great start to an informal patent search. Ask yourself the question:

Is my invention different in any way compared to any single product I’m able to find? Conduct keyword searches relating to your invention and review what is returned. If you are unable to find any page that describes all of the features of your invention then you are arguably new.

The US Patent and Trademark Office operates a patent database, which can be a great search tool, but you must first understand their code to make it most effective.

Another free patent database is operated by the Google company. It uses the standard Google interface and can be a very effective tool.

If you’re not comfortable doing your own patent search, or in reviewing any search results, know that professionals are available to help. The advantage to using a professional is that you can cover more ground, much more quickly.


We trust this information has been helpful. As always, the professionals at Ward Law Office are available to answer any questions you might have about patents, trademarks or copyrights.

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