How can an inventor perform a patent search? 3 Answers as of September 21, 2010

What is the best way for an inventor to perform a patent search? Is this something that can be done without an attorney?

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Kafantaris Law Group
Kafantaris Law Group | Theo Kafantaris
A patent search can be done by anybody, but patent attorneys are trained to notice things that might go unnoticed otherwise. A patent search can be conducted using the tools at the US Patent and Trademark Office website, or by using Google Patents. Keep in mind that a patent search is not necessary when filing an application, but is very helpful in determining whether or not to pursue an idea that may already exist.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/21/2010
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
Sure you can, if you know how. It takes quite specialized training, knowledge and experience to be effective in doing so with the vast number of patents that have to be searched. Unless you know, or are willing to research and study how, then hire an experienced patent lawyer or firm to help you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/21/2010
Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
Yes it can be done without an attorney - or alternatively you can hire a professional search firm to do this (generally in the range of $300 to $500).

One way is to go onto the internet and read some general articles for patent searching. Then I would go onto the Google Patents website or the FreePatentsOnline site and do a Boolean search. After doing this you will get a good enough idea if you want to continue searching like this or hire a professional. I believe thee is a book out there by the NOLO Press that explains how to search.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 9/20/2010
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