One of the main services we offer at CLP as a Patent and Trademark Resource Center is helping people get started with their patent search. If you’re anything like me, keyword searching is probably your go-to method for finding something. Unfortunately, this won’t get you too far if you’re looking for patents. Searching by classification is the best way to do a complete search for patents in your field. If that sentence just made zero sense to you, don’t despair! CLP now offers a bi-monthly patent searching class in our PC Center, with one coming up on March 14. And if you aren’t able to make it to the class but are interested in learning more, here are a few resources to help you get started:
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: This is absolutely the number one place where you’ll want to begin your patent searching. Start here for some good tips on getting started.
Patent It Yourself: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Filing at the U.S. Patent Office: This book is written for the independent inventor who would like to file their patent without the help of an attorney.
Nolo’s Patents for Beginners: Nolo is a publisher known for its accessible books on legal issues. This book, aimed at the patent novice, is a great basic guide about the entire patent process.
Seven Things to Consider Before Starting Your Search: Espacenet is a free database that was developed by the European Patent Office, allowing you to search patents from all over the world. This guide gives some helpful advice on how to think about your patent search before you dig in.