Before you move forward with your development project, it is often best to start with a preliminary patent search to make sure your idea doesn't infringe on any existing patents or prior art.
If any USPTO patent or prior art is found, we cannot not design or prototype a "product concept" that is infringing on any USPTO assignee or prior art. We do however, have over 35+ years of reverse-engineering competitive market products, designing and implementing workarounds, and/or adding product enhancements, helping to circumvent any existing patents or prior art found.
It is important to make sure with any patent search that keywords include as many relevant terms as possible, as to increase the chance of your patent passing, and not infringing upon prior art which was not found because of an incomplete patent search lacking technical terms. As such, it is generally not advised that non-professionals do their own patent searching as proper searches use common english, engineering, technical, industry and trade terms in select patent field searches to describe your product concept.
Cost and time to conduct searches are dependent on product concept and associated keywords to be searched, as the size of the specific patent classifications to be searched, as well as amounts of existing prior art to be reviewed, will vary.
After the preliminary patent search is complete and the project is clear of prior art, if you wish to proceed with the patent process and filing of a patent application, we can educate you as our client, on how to drastically reduce your USPTO POA filing fees and associated costs, utlizing a patent agent to review and file your patent application, without requring the use of any patent attorneys.
For those who seek IP protection beyond the US patent system, through the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), patents may also be applied for and obtained in other countries, with over 150 member countries worldwide.
As with filing for a patent with the USPTO, in order to increase likelihood of a patent passing and not infringing upon other prior art, patent searches should be done with these other national and international databases.
For those who want to apply for international patent protection through WIPO, we offer international preliminary patent search services.
Depending on the product category, international patent searches can involve a large amount of information to be searched and can come down to a cost benefit analysis of whether these additional searches will be beneficial to your project. Filing of patents in these other countries allows further protection outside the US, and ability to sell and enforce your patented intellectual property in member states of the PCT.