As an inventor, the most important information you can obtain before determining how to sell your idea – and potentially spending thousands of dollars on a comprehensive patent search, trademark protection, and product development and manufacturing – is to discover what has been done before and what already exists on the market.
You’ll need to determine the answers to the following questions:
— Are there past or present U.S. patents covering similar products?
— Are there pastast or present international patents covering similar products?
— Are there unpublished but pending patent applications for similar products?
— Are there similar non-patented products being sold in the U.S. or elsewhere?
Knowing the answers to these questions is a critical first step in the inventing process. Unfortunately, thousands of patent applications are filed each year for inventions that have been done before or somewhere else in the world, meaning that, in essence, the inventor misspent his or her money on a patent, since the patent obtained is essentially worthless.
The sooner you know what has been done before, the better informed you will be, allowing you to make intelligent decisions about your inventing process and how to sell your idea. Additionally, finding prior art can help you and your consulting engineer to find ways to design around the earlier work in order to produce a product that will be truly original and entitled to defensible patent protection. Lastly, knowing the parameters of the existing technology can permit you to make important improvements to it, thereby enhancing your own product’s marketability.
SearchQuest™ Patent Search is the only independent patent and product search firm currently offering the necessary worldwide information that you will need to be successful in filing a patent for your idea. Learn more about ordering a search with us.