DYI Patent & Trademark Searches

Patent Searches:

You should  first conduct a search of the most commonly used patent databases before you spend time and money on a patent application.   Before you conduct a patent search, however, you first need to identify the invention’s underlining ‘inventive concept’. After identifying the ‘inventive concept’ you then identify the ‘commercial setting’ of the invention.

Assume you discover that microwaves from a magnatron can be used to heat food. Also Assume you discover that you need to rotate the magnatron so the microwaves are evenly distributed throughout the food so that the entire food is heated. If you then conduct a patent search on a box containing a rotating magnatron, you would miss patents that teach boxes with stationary magnatrons and rotating turntables. In this example, the ‘inventive concept’ is the relative rotation of the magnatron and the food. Which one is fixed and which one rotates, does not matter. If claims in the patent were directed to a rotating magnatron and a fixed turnable they would not protect against a product with stationary magnatrons and rotating turntables. (This example actually occured). Therefore, it is important that you determine your invention’s underlining ‘inventive concept and conduct a search on it.

The ‘commercial setting’ is the nature of the product or service that uses the ‘inventive concept’ (i.e. a microwave oven) that customers want or that companies want to manufacture, use or sell to their customers.

We recommend you use the following databases: (1) USPTO issued patent database; (2) USPTO printed patent application database; and Google Patents.

Once you determine the ‘commercial setting’, we then recommend you conduct a product search on Amazon.com

Trademark Searches:

There are different strategies for selecting a trademark.  The strategy you used should be consistent with your branding objectives. (see our Branding webpage).  Once you select a possible trademark we recommend you use the following searching tools:

USPTO Database searches: Consists of checking records in USPTO TESS database

Common Law searches:  Google.com and Amazon.com

Please call (425) 637-3035 or email us at info@nwpatents.com for more information.

Dean A. Craine, P.S.
9 Lake Bellevue Drive, Suite 208
Bellevue, WA 98005
Phone: 425.637.3035
Fax: 425.637.9312

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