USPTO Provisional Patent Search And Lookup Process

There are several key steps in the USPTO patent search and lookup process. A prior art reference search helps inventors verify the patentability and commercial viability of their latest novel ideas. Detailed patent search reports uncover similar pieces of technology that already exist in the industry. As an inventor yourself, this can significantly reduce your chance of infringing on the intellectual property (IP) rights of others. Plus, it increases your chances of receiving approval from the USPTO. Read on to learn about the USPTO provisional patent search process.  

Know What To Expect

Before beginning the USPTO patent search process, you should first know what to expect. Your search will be limited to pending IP applications, inventor trade journals, and published patents. You can file for a provisional patent application (PPA) after the search is successfully completed. After receiving your PPA, you should receive a full non-provisional patent within eighteen months. Of course, this depends on the earliest priority filing date with the USPTO. To avoid conducting the search incorrectly, you should work with an experienced patent attorney throughout the lookup process. Indeed, know what to expect before starting the patent search process.

Prepare An Invention Disclosure

Next, you need to prepare a comprehensive invention disclosure for the patent search process. Use the invention disclosure document (IDD) to help your patent lawyer clearly understand your novel idea before IP searching. This detailed document provides vital information about your invention, as well as suggestions about alternative materials, designs, or versions. A well-defined IDD leads to a smooth, straightforward search process. At the same time, it allows your IP lawyer in Texas to fully understand your invention’s subject matter. Absolutely, prepare an invention disclosure before submitting a comprehensive patent search to the USPTO.

Search For Published Patents In The United States

Now, you are ready to begin the patent search and lookup process across US applications. The patent search process validates that no other United States inventors have already created a similar invention. Your patent attorney will begin by searching online websites, search engines, and USPTO databases. These USPTO-certified professionals search for published utility patents and other critical IP documents. After all, PPAs are rarely published and publicly available. If the corresponding non-provisional applications have already been published, your attorney can potentially identify them through the Public Pair heading. Definitely, search for published patents in the United States during the patent lookup and search process.

Refer To International Patent Offices

Now, you are ready to conduct a patent search with international IP offices. Worldwide patent searching is critical to verify your idea hasn’t already been protected abroad. Your IP attorney will help you review searchable online databases and published patent collections. Currently, there are available databases for patent offices in Europe (EPO), Japan (JPO), Korea (KIPRIS), and China (CNIPA). Your patent search firm will have all the resources, toolkits, and strategies to conduct this process successfully. Surely, refer to international intellectual property offices during your provisional patent lookup.

File A Provisional Patent Application

After a successful prior art search, it is time to file a provisional patent application online. When filing your PPA, you need to provide the USPTO with as much information as possible. Prior to submission, meet with your patent lawyer for some guidance and support on drafting requirements. In most cases, they will recommend filing your application through the US Patent Office’s electronic web-based filing system. Once everything is submitted and approved, you’ll have a twelve month “Patent Pending” status for your invention. Use this period to make sure your idea is commercially viable and worth protecting with a full utility application. Certainly, file a provisional patent application after a comprehensive prior art reference search.

There are several crucial steps for the USPTO provisional patent search and lookup process. Begin by knowing exactly what to expect. Next, prepare an invention disclosure to make your lawyer fully understand the invention subject matter. Afterward, search for PPAs in the United States. From here, refer to international patent offices like the EPO, JPO, KIPRIS, and CNIPA. Afterwards, you are officially ready to file a provisional patent application. Follow the points above to learn about the USPTO provisional patent search and lookup process.

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