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Hi Everyone,

I have a question concerning Patents. For me this is a complete new area to discover.

I'm developing some new products. It is known that two competitors already have a product on the market in this area.
I know the tradenames of these products.

My goal now is to make a product in the same range, but without copying.
In order to do that I want to know if there are any patents involving/around these products.

What is the best research method to find patents concerning these competitor products?

Thx a lot!

RE: Patents

Assuming your country's patent office has a website, that's the easiest place to start. For the US, it's http://http://www.uspto.gov/

You can search patents to your heart's content. However, just because you find patents about an object, method, etc. doesn't mean you found all of the appropriate patents. All it takes is one missed patent to make yours worth less than the paper it's printed on. This is where a patent attorney can be very helpful... but expect to spend some serious cash.

Dan - Owner

RE: Patents

I use this link: http://worldwide.espacenet.com/help?locale=en_EP&a...

Be aware that the patent office grants patents to make money so they grant them even when the patent is not really valid. So if you see a patent don't assume it blocks you. Instead look at it to see if it's likely to stand up in court. For example, there may be prior art or the invention may be obvious. Either would invalidate it. Also check to see if that patent is being kept up, the owner has to pay large fees every year or the patent will lapse and no longer be in force.

Chris DeArmitt PhD
President - Phantom Plastics LLC

Trusted adviser to leading companies around the world

RE: Patents

Also, when searching through patents, it's a good idea to use a thesaurus to vary your keywords because some patents may exist under synonyms. I've tried to develop a few prototypes on the cheap side. If you've got the money, do what the above poster said and get an attorney. Otherwise, you could go the cheaper (though riskier) route of DIY research and prototyping. Here's an article where a lot of the principles of prototyping affordably are summarized on a very basic level.

RE: Patents

My favorite patent search site is http://www.freepatentsonline.com/login.html. The US Patent Office website does not allow for easy viewing of full patents with figures. You can view text only, and to view drawings you have to download particular gif viewers that will only look at one page at a time. On freepatents you can download pdf's of the patents.

RE: Patents

I use https://patents.google.com/ for searching patents. It makes my life easy, since it is a regular google search. you can view, download patents from this website.

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