How could I ensure that my product has not already been patented? 6 Answers as of July 14, 2015

I need help with a product that I think should be patented. I am in the business planning stages and I want to make a very specific marking tag for a very specific industry. My product is better designed than those out there, made of different materials, and of a different design. I have not been able to find anything similar to it, at least I do not think. How can I be sure?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
Search the records of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. You can also hire a registered patent attorney or agent to search for you. It's also a good idea to do a general world-wide search before submitting a patent application.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 7/14/2015
Michael M. Ahmadshahi
Michael M. Ahmadshahi | Michael M. Ahmadshahi, Ph.D., Esq.
In order to determine if your product has been patented or disclosed in a published patent application, you need to do an international search of patents and published patent applications. In order to determine if you can sell your product in a country (like the U.S.) without fear of getting sued by a patent owner, you need to do a FTO (freedom to operate) search of patents and published patent applications in that country. In addition, you can never be sure because patent applications can be kept in secret while being prosecuted, meaning that they are not published within the usual 18 months, unless and until they are patented.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/14/2015
Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. | Ernie Linek
You need to hire a patent search firm to investigate for you. Or - you can search the Patent Office website for free - using key words to start the process. Go to www.uspto.gov and start searching. Good Luck.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 7/14/2015
Webb IP Law Group
Webb IP Law Group | Jason P Webb
You should have a law firm do a basic patent screening search.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 7/14/2015
Law Office of Kirk Buhler
Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
A patent search should provide information on prior patents and published applications. In general, a patent examiner does not restrict use to a particular industry. You can perform your own search at the USPTO.gov.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/14/2015
    Microtechnology Law & Analysis | Daniel Flamm
    You likely can't be certain, but you can do a patent search to lessen the likelihood that your product is covered by an existing patent and/or patent application.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/14/2015
Click to View More Answers: