Patent Search Techniques: Everything You Need To Know -Menteso IP
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06 Sep, 2022 0 Editorial Team

Patent Search Techniques: Everything You Need To Know

Patent search techniques like keywords, specific patent classifications, and tools are available to help you research existing patents more easily and quickly.

A patent search is a method for searching for prior patents.

Use keywords, patent groupings, or both to do a patent search. You may search and arrange information using both free and paid web tools. After a preliminary patent search, your lawyer will assist you in performing a more detailed examination. You won’t miss anything crucial in this way.

Some of the specific goals may be part of your patent search:

  • To support an invention’s creativity for a patent application. If something hasn’t been invented previously, it qualifies as a novel. You analyze your idea against existing knowledge when conducting a novelty patent search. Patented and unpatented inventions that came before yours are considered in the category of “prior art.” The majority of patent searches are of this kind.
  • To gain an overview of developments in your field of study. A modern patent search is exactly what this is.
  • To determine whether a proposed invention violates an already-issued patent. A lawsuit-related search like this one is known as an infringement search.
  • To establish the validity of a patent. In a search for facts, a patent is compared against already issued patents. A newer patent will lose its validity if it includes an innovation that is too similar to one protected by an earlier patent.

There are methods to make your research quicker and easier, no matter the objective.

The Importance of Patent Searching

For innovators who desire to patent a novel idea, patent research is particularly crucial. It costs money and takes time to submit a patent application. You should not apply for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) without ensuring your invention satisfies the novelty requirement. You will have spent much time on the application if it gets rejected.

A Summary of Patent Search Techniques

The government gives an inventor a patent, which is a property right. An inventor can prevent others from creating, using, or selling an invention by obtaining a patent. In the US, patents are valid for 20 years from the date of filing or 17 years from the date of patent approval. Various nations have different laws regulating patents.

Intellectual property law includes things like patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

It must be innovative, practical, and not obvious for an invention to be eligible for a patent. The three primary types of patents are as follows:

  • Utility patents cover items with a specified purpose.
  • Design patents cover decorated or ornamental components of an object.
  • Newly found and newly created plants are protected by plant patents.

It is challenging to apply for a patent. Claims are necessary because they specify the elements of the invention the inventor wants the patent to cover. Additionally, it must include detailed explanations of the design and drawings.

Tips and Techniques for Patent Searches

Understand Your Search Tools

Different features in each patent database may be helpful to you. To discover all there is to know about any database you utilise, visit the Advanced Search page and the Help Section. For instance, you may use the Advanced Search’s Specification field to identify patents that contain specific words in their specifications. The section of a patent application known as the specification includes the invention’s description.

Use numerous keywords

Look for obscure keywords to use. An innovative toilet seat, for instance, might be something you want to patent. In some patents, “water closets” rather than “toilets” may describe toilets.

As a result, you should begin with as many keywords as possible and use them all in your search.

Because some patents contain purposefully confusing wording, it is crucial to utilize a wide range of keywords. This is an effort to “hide” the patent and may provide the patent owner with cause to claim in the future.

Your chosen keywords might be associated with your invention’s objective, outcome, or related items.

Find out about the classification system.

Many classes and subclasses, each with a number, are used to categorise inventions under the US patent system. In the US, there are more than 150,000 subcategories. You can focus your search results by looking inside your idea’s class.

The class an object belongs to could occasionally surprise you once you’ve become familiar with the classification system. Most patent search engines let you look for patents within particular classes.

The United States and Europe utilise the same classification scheme, although other nations have their plans. You must become familiar with foreign classification systems to patent your innovation globally.

Looking Up Patent Owners

Find out which of your top business rivals have patents by conducting a patent search. You’ll have a chance to see what they’re doing and make connections to your creation.

Additionally, it will enable you to predict whether a legal claim of infringement against you based on your invention might be made.

Utilize various databases

Pay-for-access patent databases frequently provide more advanced capabilities than free search engines. They might suggest synonyms for your keywords. And automatically search for ideas connected to your creation. You can compare the results of your free searches with those from the premium database.

Because some databases only go back a few decades, it’s crucial to use different databases.

Older inventions may affect whether your creation qualifies for a patent. And that is still considered prior art even when older patents are no longer in force.

Perform a Citation Search

Patents frequently refer to other patents. Search the patents stated in any patent connected to your invention. This might result in more innovations like yours.

Lookup by Example

Some search engines let you use a specific patent as an illustration. The search engine will pull up further necessary documentation using the data from that patent.

Organize the Search Results

Some search engines bring together documents with a common theme or concept. This is a beautiful technique to start your investigation. However, some irrelevant objects can find their way into your groups.

Enforce boolean searches

The terms AND, OR, or NOT connect two or more keywords in a boolean search. You can obtain more relevant results by combining search terms.

Utilize Value Indicators

It’s a reverse reference when a patent references an earlier one. There is a direct reference for the patent that was mentioned.

A patent is more likely to be relevant if it has a higher number of forward links to sources. Several search engines offer the number of forwarding references a patent has.

Examine the outcomes of both specific and general searches.

When you have discovered a few relevant patent results using one search method, “zoom out”. And attempt a different way, expanding your search once again. When conducting an investigation, changing your viewpoint can reveal essential details you might have overlooked the first time.

Achieve Results Organization

To keep track of the information you find, use charts and tables. Highlighting important information. Along with an electronic version of all your collected data, you can keep handwritten notes.


A patent search is challenging, especially if you’ve never done one. However, it will give you a basis of data for your patent application. So the effort is necessary. MentesoIp’s marketplace lets you publish your queries or problems if you require assistance. The attorneys on MentesoIP average 14 years of legal experience. And have graduated from Yale and Harvard Law. Perhaps you skipped. Patent Search Techniques are the main topic here. Keep in touch with us for additional information. We are available to you at all times.