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Free Patent Searches and Provisional Patents

Patent searches can be carried out for a fee by specialized patent searching companies on the internet, or they can be carried out independently for free. Free patent searches are possible today, due to the many patent databases on the internet, which are available to the general public. Today, as use of online databases becomes easier and more accessible, inventors use these information banks to learn information regarding patents. It is important to mention that whether a specialized search company provides this service for you or you search the information banks independently, not all requests filed at the patent office are contained and published therein.

So-called provisional patents are one category of patent that does not appear in the patent information banks. Rather than being true patents, provisional patents are temporary requests filed at the American patent office. An advantage to filing a provisional patent is that the patent information is not published in the patent information banks.  This can be an advantage to an inventor who wishes to file a patent but still benefit from concealment of the invention details, to reduce the chances of the information being made public. However this lack of publicity can in itself be a problem for inventors and those who wish to file new patents, as they are unable to see this protected information.

Patent searches are carried out today more and more by the inventors themselves, owing to the availability of information and inventors’ improved internet searching abilities. Thus, an inventor with ideas for multiple inventions does not need to pay high search fees for each invention, rather if he is willing to invest the necessary time and learn how to do the relevant search for his invention properly he can often carry out the search himself.

While doing their own patent searches, inventors frequently come across patents for products similar to their own. The existence of a similar patent does not necessarily mean that the inventor’s patent request will be declined. Many patents that are accepted by the Patent Office have a list of preceding patents in the area, despite which, the patent office have granted a patent to protect the new invention.

After gathering the necessary information is a worthwhile stage to approach a patent attorney. There is no need to bring all the patent documentation to the attorney; it is sufficient to attend the meeting with the first page of the patent information. The patent attorney can use the patent application number to access the existing records for the invention and check whether it is possible to file a new patent despite the patent that already exists.

We are available to accompany inventors from their initial idea, and we are only too pleased to help you over the telephone or in person, without charge, and can refer you to the leading information banks to enable you to do your own free patent searches. We can also recommend you a patent attorney once you have accumulated all the relevant information.
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