Gone are the days when the only way to find relevant patents was to hire a patent attorney. There are many public tools that allow a person to:
* Find Relevant Patents in the US and Abroad.
* Find Published Applications that are in the pipeline but not yet Issued.
* Look to see whether a pending application is heading towards allowance or trash heap.
* Automatically monitor for relevant publications of patent applications.
* Check to see who owns relevant patents.