Free Patent Searches
By Max Bellamy
One of the primary things to do when a commercially viable idea hits the brain is to search for a patent for the concept. A patent allows for the conversion of the concept into a business and prohibits others from infringing on the idea. Commonly, patent searches through patent search offices entail some footwork as well as money.
However, with the onslaught of the Internet, there are several free patent searches available. Free patent searches are powered by search engines, and contain databases that include all patents applied for over the past few years (within the patentable period, which generally implies 20 years in the US). Past inventions are carefully documented, with pictures and features wherever needed. As soon as a keyword is typed in the search bar, a search is triggered that displays similar concept patents that may have been given. It is important to type a relevant keyword, as this will affect the results of the search. It is advisable to try searching using different keywords.
Typically, free patent search websites contain all documented information on US patents (available from the USPTO) and European patents (Esp@cenet). However, there are many websites that contain patent information from other countries. Before punching in the keyword, the searcher has to click on the appropriate country tab.
The reason for the surfeit of free patent search sites is the huge workload that national patent offices face each year. National patent offices also provide their own free websites to search patents, in order to decrease their quantum of work. Most ideas that purport to be original get nipped in the bud when a similar concept is found.
The current trend is to first search for a patent on a free search engine. If no patent is found, a patent attorney is approached for the legal work. The attorney will also search for the patent on the free search engine before accepting the case.
www.freepatentsonline.com is a popular free patent search site that has a database of over 300000 US and UK patents. The site is constantly getting updated, as more and more patents are being awarded.
Patent Search provides detailed information on Patent Search, US Patent Searches, Free Patent Searches, European Patent Searches and more. Patent Search is affiliated with Online Trademark Searches.
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