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What is a Patent?A patent is...•   a property right granted by the Government of the    United States of America to an inv...
Requirements for a Patent• New• Useful• Unobvious• Fully disclosed                                 3
3 Types of Patents• Utility Patents – granted  for a useful process or method,  machine, manufactured article  or composit...
3 Types of Patents• Design Patents – granted for new, original  and ornamental design for an article of  manufacture: the ...
What CANNOT be Patented?• Inventions which are NOT NEW• Inventions which are OBVIOUS  variations of known technology (obvi...
What Cannot Be Patented?       Changes from the Patent Reform Act                     (S.23)• Inventions MADE PUBLIC more ...
Utility Patent Fees for Small         Entities (as of 10/1/11)Initial Filing Fee: $95 (electronic) / $190 (paper)Search Fe...
Process forObtaining aUtility Patent                 9
Why Are Patent Searches      Necessary?• To make sure your idea is new, to search  for prior art• To increase awareness of...
Ways to Search for Patents       on USPTO Databases• By Patent Number or Publication  Number• By Keyword (full text or sel...
U.S. Patent Classification•   There are currently    450 classes and    150,000 subclasses    in the U.S. Patent    Classi...
7 Step Preliminary Patent               Search Overview• USPTO has developed a 7 Step Patent  Search Strategy to increase ...
A Sample Granted Patent                          14
Patent Search ExampleA dog harness thatcarries a water pouchand has an attachedwater dispenser.                           ...
Step 1: Description of      InventionWhat does it do?• Essential function of the inventionWhat is the end result?• Essenti...
Step 1: Description of Example,     cont.What does it do?• An animal vest/harness that carries water and  dispenses water ...
Step 1: Description of Example,   cont.Consider Synonyms• Dog, pet, animal, etc.• Vest, harness, pouch, dispenser etc.• Li...
Step 2: Determine Classification        Using the Index to U.S. Patent        Classification• Use the Index to find potent...
To Access thePatent Index                20
To Access thePatent Index                21
To Access thePatent Index                22
Step 2 Continued: Determine    ClassificationUse the HTML Index and click on “A”for animal. Is it also under “D” for dog? ...
Step 2 Continued: DetermineClassification          A - Animal          W - Watering devices                               ...
Step 3: Class Schedule in       Manual Of Classification       OnlineClick on the Class/Subclass number in  the Index to U...
Step 4: Classification        DefinitionsClick on subclass number or title to view and read   the definition. Also include...
Step 5: Search U.S. Patents      & Published Patent      ApplicationsYou have the class/subclass, now search!USPTO has two...
Step 5: Search Each      Database Separately Using      A & P ButtonsClicking on the P button next to subclass 72  will ru...
PatFT Search Results                       29
Step 5: Don’t Forget to SearchAppFT                                 30
Step 6: Review Your Search      Results• Front Page; drawing sheets• Specification   • Background of the invention   • Sum...
Step 6: Review Your Search       Results: CLAIMS• Legal  boundaries of  intellectual  property• Located at the  end of the...
Step 7: Review ReferenceCited                          Referenced By:                          links patents that         ...
Step 7: Current U.S.       Classification & Field of       Classification SearchThe field of search can provide valuable c...
7 Step Patent Search         Review•   Brainstorm keywords to describe the invention.•   Use these keywords to find initia...
Patent Attorney or AgentsUSPTO recommends hiring an attorney or  agent for assistance in preparing a patent.  Patent prepa...
Patents 101: Final Notes• Document your searches! Write down what  classifications you’ve searched, the  databases you use...
Contacts• USPTO Contact Center:  (800) PTO-9199• Patent Electronic Business Center:  (866) 217-9197• Milwaukee Public Libr...
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Patent Searching 101

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Are you interested in patenting your invention but don’t know where to start? Then come to Milwaukee Public Library’s free monthly Patent Searching 101 program. Patent searching is the first step in the patent application process; it ensures your invention is new and thus eligible for a patent. Business librarians will explain the seven-step search process and talk about changes in patent law due to the America Invents Act.

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Patent Searching 101

  1. 1. 1
  2. 2. What is a Patent?A patent is...• a property right granted by the Government of the United States of America to an inventor,• “to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention throughout the United States or importing the invention into the United States,”• for a limited time,• in exchange for public disclosure of the invention when the patent is granted. 2
  3. 3. Requirements for a Patent• New• Useful• Unobvious• Fully disclosed 3
  4. 4. 3 Types of Patents• Utility Patents – granted for a useful process or method, machine, manufactured article or composition of matter. • Term: 20 years from filing date 4
  5. 5. 3 Types of Patents• Design Patents – granted for new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture: the appearance is protected. • Term: 14 years from the date the patent is granted• Plant Patents – granted for a new, asexually reproduced plant. • Term: 20 years from filing date 5
  6. 6. What CANNOT be Patented?• Inventions which are NOT NEW• Inventions which are OBVIOUS variations of known technology (obvious to one familiar with technology)• ABSTRACT ideas 6
  7. 7. What Cannot Be Patented? Changes from the Patent Reform Act (S.23)• Inventions MADE PUBLIC more than one year prior to patent application filing date OR made public by other independent inventor before the first inventor files an application. 7
  8. 8. Utility Patent Fees for Small Entities (as of 10/1/11)Initial Filing Fee: $95 (electronic) / $190 (paper)Search Fee: $310Examination Fee: $125Issue Fee: $870Maintenance Fees: • 3.5 years: $565 • 7.5 years: $1425 • 11.5 years: $2365Prioritized Examination (opt.): $2400* Provisional Patent Application Filing Fee: $125* 8
  9. 9. Process forObtaining aUtility Patent 9
  10. 10. Why Are Patent Searches Necessary?• To make sure your idea is new, to search for prior art• To increase awareness of the product field• To prepare for consulting an attorney• To reduce patent attorney/agent fees• To prepare for the application process 10
  11. 11. Ways to Search for Patents on USPTO Databases• By Patent Number or Publication Number• By Keyword (full text or selected fields) • Some problems: only from 1976 forward; inconsistent terminology; obsolete names; synonyms (e.g. rodent extermination device); British spellings; spelling errors• By U.S. Patent Classification • Recommended; Classification systems categorizes things based on characteristics and relationships 11
  12. 12. U.S. Patent Classification• There are currently 450 classes and 150,000 subclasses in the U.S. Patent Classification System (USPC).• Use the online index to navigate USPC 12
  13. 13. 7 Step Preliminary Patent Search Overview• USPTO has developed a 7 Step Patent Search Strategy to increase the likelihood a novice searcher will do a thorough job of a preliminary patent search.• Remember: all it takes is one patent to refute the “novelty” of one’s invention. 13
  14. 14. A Sample Granted Patent 14
  15. 15. Patent Search ExampleA dog harness thatcarries a water pouchand has an attachedwater dispenser. 15
  16. 16. Step 1: Description of InventionWhat does it do?• Essential function of the inventionWhat is the end result?• Essential effect or basic product resulting from the inventionWhat is it made out of?• Physical structure of the inventionWhat is it used for?• Intended use for the invention 16
  17. 17. Step 1: Description of Example, cont.What does it do?• An animal vest/harness that carries water and dispenses water for the animalWhat is the end result?• Water is stored in the vest/harness and is expelled through a connected dispenserWhat is it made of?• Polyester, plastic tubing, etc.What is it used for?• Used to spray water into dog’s (or other animal’s) mouth, or to spray dog’s paws. 17
  18. 18. Step 1: Description of Example, cont.Consider Synonyms• Dog, pet, animal, etc.• Vest, harness, pouch, dispenser etc.• Liquid, water, etc. 18
  19. 19. Step 2: Determine Classification Using the Index to U.S. Patent Classification• Use the Index to find potential class(es) and subclass(es).• Look up each term that describes the invention, e.g. function, composition, etc.http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/classification/uspcindex/indextouspc.h 19
  20. 20. To Access thePatent Index 20
  21. 21. To Access thePatent Index 21
  22. 22. To Access thePatent Index 22
  23. 23. Step 2 Continued: Determine ClassificationUse the HTML Index and click on “A”for animal. Is it also under “D” for dog? 23
  24. 24. Step 2 Continued: DetermineClassification A - Animal W - Watering devices 24
  25. 25. Step 3: Class Schedule in Manual Of Classification OnlineClick on the Class/Subclass number in the Index to U.S. Patent Classification – it will bring you immediately into the Class Schedule for your invention at the subclass level.+ Indicates the subclass is further broken down• 119/72+• 224/148.2 25
  26. 26. Step 4: Classification DefinitionsClick on subclass number or title to view and read the definition. Also includes a “SEE” section that will point to additional classes and subclasses to search. Dots show subclass relationships. 26
  27. 27. Step 5: Search U.S. Patents & Published Patent ApplicationsYou have the class/subclass, now search!USPTO has two searchable patent publication databases:• PatFT (Patents Full-Text) • Patents back to 1976 accessible by keyword searching and class/subclass • All U.S. patents back to 1790 by class/subclass or patent number.• AppFT (Published Patent Applications Full-Text) 27
  28. 28. Step 5: Search Each Database Separately Using A & P ButtonsClicking on the P button next to subclass 72 will run the search for all patents within that class/subclass (119/72) in the PatFT database.Clicking on the A button will run the search for all published patent applications within that class/subclass in the AppFT database. 28
  29. 29. PatFT Search Results 29
  30. 30. Step 5: Don’t Forget to SearchAppFT 30
  31. 31. Step 6: Review Your Search Results• Front Page; drawing sheets• Specification • Background of the invention • Summary of the invention • Detailed description of the invention 31
  32. 32. Step 6: Review Your Search Results: CLAIMS• Legal boundaries of intellectual property• Located at the end of the patent document 32
  33. 33. Step 7: Review ReferenceCited Referenced By: links patents that cite the displayed patent. References Cited: shows the other established patents viewed by examiners to determine the newness or novelty of the patent that was granted. 33
  34. 34. Step 7: Current U.S. Classification & Field of Classification SearchThe field of search can provide valuable clues to other classifications that the patent examiner searched 34
  35. 35. 7 Step Patent Search Review• Brainstorm keywords to describe the invention.• Use these keywords to find initial class/subclass in the Index to the U.S. Patent Classification.• Verify the relevancy of class/subclasses using the Classification Schedule.• Confirm scope of subclass in Classification Definitions.• Access patent documents and published patent applications using classification in PatFT & AppFT.• Review the claims, specifications, and drawings of documents retrieved.• Retrieve and review cited references and “Field of Classification Search” in documents retrieved. 35
  36. 36. Patent Attorney or AgentsUSPTO recommends hiring an attorney or agent for assistance in preparing a patent. Patent preparation in legal language is a challenge.Registered attorneys and agents are listed on the upsto.gov website: https://oedci.uspto.gov/OEDCI/GeoRegion.jsp 36
  37. 37. Patents 101: Final Notes• Document your searches! Write down what classifications you’ve searched, the databases you used, keep a list of patents and applications reviewed.• Use the U.S. Patent Classification Suggestion form (included in packet)• Explore the USPTO website• Milwaukee Public Library has numerous books to help in the patent process. 37
  38. 38. Contacts• USPTO Contact Center: (800) PTO-9199• Patent Electronic Business Center: (866) 217-9197• Milwaukee Public Library Business and Technology: (414) 286-3051 38

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