Malhotra Law Firm, PLLC | Deepak Malhotra
On www.USPTO.gov, there are links for patent searches. You can search through both issued and published pending applications. Try the basic search and put in various keywords that would be used in a patent describing your invention. You can also try patents.google.com or even just a plain Google search. Depending on the technology, you could look in technical journals or databases like IE Explorer. Keep track of any vaguely relevant references you find as you should disclose these to the patent office when you file a patent application.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Barton Barton & Plotkin | Maurice Ross
Conducting patent searches requires considerable skill and experience, and you probably cannot do this on your own without retaining counsel. There is no one web-site that you can use for this purpose, in part because you need to conduct a search not only for U.S. patents (and patent applications), but for foreign patents and patent applications. Furthermore, many pending patent applications have not been published and, thus, your idea might be covered by an unpublished pending patent application. For this and many other reasons, you also need to conduct a search of prior art literature, as well as patents. The United States Patent Office Web Site offers access to full text of patents issued beginning in 1976. Google patent search has access to over seven million patents. Similar sites are available to allow searches of European patents and patent applications and those from other countries.
Answer Applies to: New York
The Law Offices of Mark Trenner | Mark Trenner
The US Patent Office and Google both offer free online databases of patents and published patent applications. A patent attorney can help you with a more in-depth prior art search and analysis of the prior art in view of the requirements for patentability.
Answer Applies to: Colorado