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How do I do Patent Searches?

Every business, large or small, wants to safeguard its discoveries through intellectual property rights such as patents. Companies must file patent applications with the relevant patent office in order to receive patents. Before they can do that, they must first assess whether their inventions are patentable. Patent searches are the most effective technique of determining this. To guarantee that these searches are successful, you must first develop a solid patent search strategy.

The best practises outlined in the following article can assist you in developing a solid approach for doing high-quality patent searches.

Also read: Provisional Patent Drawings: Everything You Need to Know

What is the Purpose of a Patent Search?

Before filing a patent, a patent search is conducted to find the closest prior-art and evaluate whether the subject matter/invention is patentable. This stage allows businesses to avoid the costs of patent prosecution if an innovation is denied. Due of the time commitment of doing patent searches in-house, organisations either conducts them with limited resources or outsource them.

A patent is a legal document that guarantees that your inventions will not be used or profited without your permission. One of the best ways to defend yourself from patent infringement is to conduct a patent search. Aside from the apparent advantages, there are several advantages to conducting a patent search. Some of them are listed below:

Investing mistakes can be costly.

You’ll be in a better position to make future decisions about your invention’s patentability once you’ve determined whether it’s patentable.

Prepare yourself by familiarizing yourself with previous works of art.

Understanding the patentability of your invention and drafting unique claims and descriptions for it is easier when you are familiar with prior art.

Enhance your patent application or design in whatever way you can.

Inventors can profit from becoming more aware and familiar with the literature accessible in their field of innovation by using this knowledge to strengthen their patent application or establish a design around strategy.

Also read: Patent Drawings Guidelines: Rule 11

How to Conduct Your Own Patent Searches?

To conduct a patent search through the USPTO (US patent search) or other online patent search engines (global patent search), follow these steps:

1. Create a keyword list

If the patent search tool you’re using has more advanced search tools, such as semantic search, you can start your patent search by selecting a relevant keyword. Such elements may aid in determining your search intent and delivering the most accurate results.

2. Using your term, locate the appropriate CPC classification.

Once you’ve determined which CPC classification is most applicable to your idea, you can delve deeper and look for patent documents that are relevant. With the most relevant CPC classification that you previously defined, search through the patent documents of both PatFT (issued patents) and AppFT (published patent applications).

You’ll need to search The Published Patent Applications Database and The Complete Patent Documents Database during your patent search in the United States.

When you use other online patent search engines to conduct a global patent search, you’ll notice that many of them will return both granted patents and published patent applications in one search. You may instantly narrow down your search scope for more particular results using advanced filters.

3. Use the citations of the previous art of the most relevant patents from your search to look for other related patents.

After you’ve located the patent applications and issued patents that are the most similar, you can broaden your search by looking at their forward and backward citations. Layer by layer, going through the citations and prior art can help you acquire the most thorough results.

Some internet search engines have search options that can save time by eliminating the need to sift through citations layer by layer. Using such tools and algorithms to do a patent search may show to be a more efficient and user-friendly method.

4. Repeat the process to delve deeper and widen the scope of your search.

It’s crucial to check into non-US patents and non-patent literature in other authorised patent offices to extend your search reach. Examining a patent’s family tree is also a wonderful approach to learn about related patents from other nations.


There can be a lot of advantages of doing the patent search, you can protect yourself from any type of patent infringement or rejection that you might face in future. There are a lot of things at stake while conducting a patent search. That is why it’s vital to follow all best practises in order to get the greatest results. Every step necessitates a close examination of minor but critical details that affect the overall search process. Because one factor is interconnected with another, guaranteeing quality is essential at each phase. At regular intervals, the searching crew performs quality checks while keeping in mind the most important components of the search. Furthermore, if an error is discovered, it must be corrected as soon as possible, or the overall project timeline and quality may be jeopardised.

PatSketch for your service

After doing the patent search, you can apply for the patent at the patent office. To make the application rejection-proof, you can hire us to make patent drawings for you. Visit us to know more or contact us.

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