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What’s the most effective way to find patent prior art?

Many people are attracted to the idea of cutting costs and conducting patent searches on their own. It’s true, there are a number of websites that are totally free or only cost a nominal fee to search through thousands and thousands of patents. However, be aware that that solo patent research can present many challenges.

Here are a few roadblocks you may encounter:

  • The information can be overwhelming. Once you begin your search, you’ll be amazed at the sheer amount of patents that are out there. Weeding through the information by yourself can be an incredible daunting task, especially for someone who has never conducted a search of this breadth before.
  • Databases have limitations. Depending on the resource you use, you may not be able to research as effectively. For example, Google Patent Search has a limited number of search field. Essentially, you won’t be able to use specific terms or phrases and that could quickly become a tedious situation.
  • Incomplete research could lead to improper finds. Simple, human mistakes such as failing to consider a certain key word in your search or improperly spelling a term could lead to no results found when a patent actually does exist for the product.
  • A huge time investment. So you are trying to save money? I encourage you to think about how much your time actually costs. Would your skills be better used doing something you are more skilled at? Patent searches are complex and while you can certainly conduct them yourself for virtually no out of pocket cost, the sheer amount of time may be more of a headache than it’s actually worth.

If you want to save time and have a quality patent search conducted, you should hire a patent attorney. This is a person who does this type of work professionally and they have access to the best resources.

LawTrades is a reputable marketplace of freelance attorneys that are skilled in various areas of law—including patents. We would be happy to connect you with an attorney that can assist you with you patent search. Our mission is to provide the best legal services at an affordable rate. Contact us for a free initial consultation.