How Can You Do a Patent Search in the United States Online?


Quick Answer

To do a patent search online, visit USPTO.gov, click on Search for Patents, brainstorm terms that describe your invention, search for a classification of your patent using these terms, and review the results for similarities. Examine the abstracts and drawings on the search results to determine if similar patents exist.

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Full Answer

The United States Patent and Trademark Office provides an online portal for inventors to search, reserve and register patents and trademarks. Inventors can hire registered agents to conduct their patent searches or visit the USPTO portal and do their search. Before conducting the patent search, determine whether you need a utility, design or plant patent. Describe your invention in terms of its composition, purpose and use. From the description, locate keywords to use in the online search.

Visit the USPTO website and locate Search for Patents under Application Process. If you are an inventor, select the Full-Text and Image Database to find whether a patent resembling your own already exists. In the quick search dialog box that appears, enter the two terms that describe your invention and select the relevant field. Review the patent documents that appear in the search results to find similarities between registered patents and your own.

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