This article provides a 7 step strategy for searching and evaluating relevant prior-art or any publication that discloses the invention for which a patent is to be filed.
1). The First and the most important step is to Brainstorm Terms that describe your invention. Begin by analysing and describing in written the purpose, composition and use of invention. Note down the important keywords and synonyms of words that describe the invention.
2). The second step involves identification of relevant Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) using the keywords identified in the previous step from the USPTO (United States Patent & Trademark Office) Website Search Feature. Go to the USPTO Home Page and enter “CPC scheme (Key words describing invention)” on the top right search box and scan the results thus obtained.
In the following example we have identified the CPC scheme for shape (contour and architect are its synonyms used).
Look for the relevant results from the list obtained. If no relevant search reults are obtained repeat the step using other keywords & their synonyms identified in the previous step.
3). In the Third step verify the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) identified in the previous step by reviewing the definitions. CPCs are hyperlinked to a CPC classification definition. Definitions are helpful in establishing you have determined the most relevant classification.
4). Retrieve and Review all the patent applications assigned to the most relevant CPC classification. Focus on the abstract and representative drawings on the front page of the patent applications and narrow down the most relevant patent applications.
5). Conduct In-depth review of patents selected based on their front page information for similarity to your own invention paying close attention to the claims, additional drawings and specifications. References cited in the previously identified Patents may lead you to additional relevant patents.
6). Retrieve and Review in depth all the published patent applications under the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC) previously identified for similarity to the invention paying close attention to claims, drawings and specifications of the patent.
7. After completion of the preliminary search you may broaden your search based upon available time and resources. You may broaden your search by identifying International Patent Classification (IPCs), U.S. Patent Classification (USPC). Rerun your search using Espacenet, IPIndia and WIPO. Since inventions can be publicly disclosed in a variety of non-patent literature and electronic publications, you can choose to search books, journals, websites, technical catalogs and conference proceedings as well.
You may choose to hire a registered patent attorney or patent agent to review your search and conduct a follow-up search of his/her own.For further information on patents and patent filling in India connect with our highly skilled and experienced patent lawyers and IP strategists.
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