Types of Patent Searches

Patentability Search: This is most popular type of search. If you have a new invention, this is where you should begin. Under current law, an invention may not be patentable if it has been previously disclosed anywhere else in the world. The Patentability Search is used to determine whether an invention has been previously disclosed by searching US issued and published patents.

Clearance Search: This search is used to determine if your invention will infringe on other current patents and non-issued, published patent applications. Patent attorneys or patent agencies, such as InventHelp, will review the claims in the uncovered patents and patent applications and compare their claim coverage with your invention at issue.

Validity Search: This search attempts to “knock out” an existing patent based on prior disclosure of that patent’s subject matter. When performing a Validity Search, patent attorneys carefully scour the federal and international databases for documents and disclosures with an earlier filing or publication date than the patent in question. Pricing depends on the complexity of the subject matter and geographical coverage of the search.


Patent agencies, like InventHelp, use numerous techniques to find the most relevant prior art. These include:

Keyword searching – no search is complete without searching relevant parts of issued and published patent applications (e.g., the abstract, claims, body, etc.) for relevant keywords. Typically, multiple sets of keywords are used for completeness.

Cross referencing – relevant patents typically cite other prior relevant patents and are also cited by later-filed applications. Cross references are a very valuable tool for finding relevant prior art.

Class/subclass searching – patents in the relevant classes/subclasses can be reviewed for relevance. In some cases, examiners at the USPTO are consulted in order to determine appropriate classes/subclasses to search.

Assignee search – In some cases, companies that make similar products are a great source of prior art which may catch prior art which was not uncovered by any of the above techniques.

Internet search – This search isn’t limited to prior patent documents. Patent attorneys also use Internet search engines to find other types of relevant art.

Prior publication search – In some cases, a publication search can be conducted wherein magazines and other printed matter are searched for relevant art.

As you can see there is a lot of work when it comes to patenting an invention, but fortunately there are good companies like InventHelp that can help you get the patent done. You can read numerous InventHelp reviews online to learn more about the company and their work.

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