Rich Goldstein (00:04):
Let’s talk about how you find out what’s the closest prior arts, your invention prior art can be products that are out there in use on the market. It could also be descriptions of things that have been published in various forms. Um, it can also be in the form of patents, patents that exist going way back to the very beginning of the patent system and even what they call patent application publications, which are in patents, but they’ve been published by the patent office can be considered prior art. The point is there’s a variety of places that you can look for prior art. Um, now in the very beginning of the patent process, you should always start looking yourself
Rich Goldstein (00:51):
And the places you’d look yourself are the places where you would commonly search if you were looking for your product to buy it. So you probably searched the internet for similar products and, um, you might search in stores, places like Amazon, um, where you might think that you’d likely find a product like the one that you have in mind. So we’re gonna assume that you’ve already searched the marketplace and you haven’t found anything similar to the idea. Um, and the thing is there are a lot of things patented that have never made it to the market. So there are a lot of patents out there and it often would, might surprise you what has been patented that’s out there already, right?
Rich Goldstein (01:36):
What next comes is the patent search. Um, and when you’re searching through existing patents, it’s not so easy to find the closest prior art. Um, even from the beginning of the patent system, um, the, the patents that you find back there, it can be relevant to the patent builder of your invention, but searching for them can really be a complex process. Um, there are some resources available on the internet that can help you to find some of these patents that might be close to your field or close to your invention. But sometimes these standard online’s patent searches will give you a false sense of security. Sometimes they’ll show you a few patents, which give you just enough information to have you believe that you’ve found the closest prior art, but the truth is that there’s something even closer, something that might get in the way of you getting a patent or something that would change your approach or the way in which you apply for the patent.
Rich Goldstein (02:28):
If you only knew about it, the problem is that the various resources that you can get to through the internet are not really set up to find you the best prior art. And he, why, how you typically search for things on the internet is you use words, of course, like you put in a search query, right? You put in the words that you think are probably going to describe, um, the website that you’re looking for. You put into Google. If you’re looking for, uh, a burger joint, let’s say you type in something like hamburger and restaurant and the search results, get show a lot of websites that use those words, hamburger and restaurant. Um, but now when it comes to an invention and in particular patented inventions, there’s a lot of different terminology that might’ve been used in describing inventions just like yours, right? But imagine that terminology couldn’t be different than the ones that you would think of when you’re doing a search.
Rich Goldstein (03:21):
So imagine you have an idea for a can opener. It has a special type of handle. And, um, you go to an online patent database and you type in the words can and opener, uh, and in some of these patent databases, you might come up with a whole bunch of can openers, and you might look through the list and you see there’s nothing there just like your invention. So you may think there’s a big difference between my invention and the prior, right? So I can actually go ahead and apply for a patent. But the problem says, what if someone had a can opener that had the same type of handle as you have in mind, but they didn’t call it a can opener. They called it, um, a container lid remover, you know, or they called it a device for opening metal, um, metal containers. It wouldn’t appear in the search results that you got when you search for can opener. This is one of the main reasons why even professionals who try to do patent searches on the internet, don’t usually get an effective search result because the results that they find they can’t really rely on when deciding to move ahead with a patent application.
Rich Goldstein (04:37):
The most effective way to search for prior art is to do what’s called a classification search using the direct resources of the us patent office. Um, and in a classification search. We’re not looking for things by words, but we’re looking for them based on, uh, the category of technology. So they they’ll fit into a certain category, a certain classification system that the patent office has created. And when you do a classification search for, for, let’s say a can opener, even if another inventor called it something different, it would be in the right category at the pattern of, cause it would be within this classification. So, you know, an appropriate classification search that uses the patent offices facilities can locate the closest prior art. So when you do your research check, lice likely places in the marketplace first, um, you know, in stores, websites, Amazon doing online searches, uh, and if you find it or find something very close to your idea, um, something already on sale somewhere, then maybe you’ve saved yourself a lot of, of cost and frustration, um, of, of jumping ahead and applying for patent that you, you then know you wouldn’t get, but if you get to the point that you have searched and you have looked and you have looked and you have looked and you still haven’t found it, you absolutely want to have the right type of professional research done.
Rich Goldstein (06:01):
You want to have a classification search performed before you jump into the patent process. And just one further note on that is that sometimes having a good search is not only going to help you to decide that maybe it would have been a waste of time to apply for a patent because to something just like it. But sometimes the classification search will help steer the patent process. You could have gone ahead and applied for a patent thinking that, um, that there were four things about it that really made it distinct. And, um, as it turns out, if you did some detailed research, you would have found out that really three of them were pretty old. Three of them had been done before many times before. So it was really this fourth thing that makes your idea special. Um, and then if that’s the case and you knew this before you applied for the patent, you could then focus the efforts of writing the patent application. You could focus the patent application on the thing that actually makes it different. So that’s the other benefit of doing a really great prior art search. Um, and in some though, you want to make sure that you find the closest prior art before you applied for a patent in the next video, we’re going to talk about the patent process in detail.