To determine what is unique about your invention, do a patentability search. Knowing the results of the patentability search will help you when writing your patent application and also during patent examination.
What’s a search?
The search compares your invention to relevant public information, also called prior art. Therefore patentability searches are conducted online using a variety of resources: patent databases, collections of articles and more.
So you want to get started on your patent application and you think that the first step is to write everything down about your invention, right? Not so fast – the first step is to perform a patentability search. You can do it on your own, or hire the professionals, such as patent InventHelp agency, which is highly recommended.
Why a patentability search?
Because a patent is an exchange – you describe your truly inventive invention, and the government gives you a monopoly on that invention for a period of 20 years from the date of filing the application. Pretty good deal – but the government, representing the public, wants to receive something worthwhile, so you need to show that your invention is different from all publicly available information, published anywhere in the world, in any language. This publicly available information is called prior art. Your search compares your invention with this information. That is where patenting agencies, like patent service InventHelp, can help.
What standards does your invention have to meet?
Your invention has to meet two standards: it has to be novel and non-obvious.
Novel simply means new and is an easy standard to meet. Non-obvious is tricky; it can also be described as being “inventive” – going above and beyond simple changes to what is known to public, to find something that is truly different and special. Sound vague and subjective? That’s because it is, more patent cases in the US have struggled with the definition of “non-obvious” than over any other single issue.