Today, we want to discuss with you how to patent your idea and the patent process and, in particular, the patent search.
Many people tell me they have an idea, but just don’t know what to do after that. I usually commend them on at least taking the step of coming to see a patent attorney. Many people are, for some reason, too intimidated to do that. We don’t bite and many of us don’t charge for the initial consultation, which is completely confidential, so there is really nothing to worry about.
During our initial meeting, I will ask many questions so that I am sure I fully understand what the invention is, how it works, and all the alternatives of making and using it. Once I have a full understanding of what you have invented I will usually recommend that, before we spend the money on filing a formal patent application, we begin with a patent search. We, of course want to make sure that you are the first to have invented this.
To do the search, after our meeting, I will communicate the details I learned about your invention to the searcher. Several days later, I will get the results back from the search and will review those in great detail. I will usually ask you to do the same and then we will have a follow-up meeting so I can express to you my thoughts on what was found during the search and ask you your thoughts.
By knowing what already exists, we can accurately determine the precise scope of your contribution to the technology and I can predict, with pretty good accuracy, the probability of us being able to get a patent allowed for you.