We made these screencasts to help inventors learn about intellectual property. If you like them, please let us know in a comment. Or subscribe via our youtube page.
1. How Do I Know It’s Patentable?
This is the second-most common question we receive from clients. (The first: “How long will the process take?” is the topic of our next blog post).
To assess patentability, we first determine whether an invention has met the basic conditions of patentability according to the USPTO. Then we do a prior-art search. Doing a prior-art search will enable an inventor to assess whether it’s worth the time and money to apply for a patent.
Because the prior-art search is so important, we made a series of instructional videos about it. (Links below.) Part 1 covers USPTO rules about what can be patented and what cannot, and how to conduct a prior-art search. Part 2 covers how to do a thorough prior-art search using Google Patents and the USPTO’s patent database (PATFT). (UPDATE, January 2023: the USPTO has rolled out its new search engine, Patent Public Search. Please see https://www.uspto.gov/patents/search for all the information. Note: They are still tweaking it as of this writing.) Part 3 covers patent-searching with the USPTO’S search tool, and the Patent Classification System (CPC).
For more information about the patent process, see the USPTO’s helpful guide.