I have noticed over the last few months a local organization encouraging inventors to do their own patent searching rather than having a professional search done. This group has also implied that they can teach you in a few hours how to do your own searching by going down to the local library and using their computers. This is incredibly irresponsible on their part but then they have nothing to lose and you do. Let me explain.
- Before you spend time and money on a prototype, you should do as much looking around as you can. However, most inventors don’t really want to find anything; so they tend to search with blinders on. Take off the blinders.
- Once you have done your searching, it is time to build your own version of a prototype if you can. This is something that should be able to be accomplished at a minimal cost. If you can’t do your own prototype, then the search comes first.
- The first money you should spend should be on a PROFESSIONAL patent search. A good search is only $500. Honestly, if you can’t put $500 into the project, you probably shouldn’t be doing this at all. This search will include a U.S. classification search, NOT a keyword search. It should also include an international search and a product search.
- A professional patent search is the MOST important money you will spend. All of the business decisions you will make will be based off the search.
- A good search done by a professional takes many hours. Reading the claims is like reading a foreign language. Most inventors have a day job and learning how to do this and then betting your future on it, is just bad planning. Your time is better spent doing what you do well and hiring someone to do what they do well.
- A good attorney and engineer will ask you for the results of your patent search and they’re NOT talking about the one you did yourself.
If you are going to put your financial future into this basket, why in the world would you take shortcuts? Don’t spend a dime before it’s time, but when it’s time—step up.
If you have any questions about where to go for a Professional Patent Search, pleaase contact me at Rita@InventorLady.com