Patentability Search 

The First Step: Search at the US Patent Office Website 
As soon as an idea takes shape, start with a search at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website, www.uspto.gov. It is likely that patent documents will show features of the invention or inventions used for the same purpose. If the invention is not exactly the same as what is found on this website and has benefits that may have commercial value, we recommend a professional patent search at the USPTO before filing an application. 

Next Step: A Professional Search at the USPTO
The USPTO is the best place to conduct the patent search. We have conducted tens of thousands of searches a the USPTO using the Examiner's Automated Search Tool (EAST) system which is not accessible outside of USPTO facilities. The USPTO's EAST system includes issued U.S. and foreign patents and published patent applications. Face-to-face consultations with U.S. Patent Examiners at the USPTO can also be helpful in conducting a patent search.

Interpreting Patent Search Results
Knowing how to interpret the results of the patentability search in accordance with the legal standards requires specialized expertise. Our staff of registered patent attorneys and agents, many of whom are former USPTO patent examiners, have the technical and legal abilities necessary to conduct a patent search using the EAST system and to critically evaluate the results of the search. Our Chief Patent Officer was a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director and our search practice is managed by a patent practitioner who is a former U.S. Patent Examiner. Our strategic location in Northern Virginia near the USPTO enables us to conduct patentability searches quickly and efficiently. 

Report and Recommendation
We provide clients with a search report that provides information about the most relevant issued patents and published patent applications  both U.S. and foreign  revealed during our search. Specifically, we discuss and make recommendations based on patent documents that show inventions that are the same as the searched invention or show features of the searched invention. All search reports include links to U.S. and international patent documents for clients to view and study. A patent application should be filed promptly following receipt of search results that warrant proceeding.

Request Patentability Search 
Use either of the these methods to request a patentability search: 1) our secure on-line Patent Search Request Form or 2) our printable Patent Search Request Form for return by mail, e-mail, or fax. Our patentability search is provided on a flat fee basis, $500, for educational institutions, nonprofits, small businesses and independent inventors. Our search fee for large businesses and for registered patent practitioners is $1,000. Typically, we can complete the search within 10 business days. The search can be expedited for an additional $300 charge. This affordable service allows clients to benefit from the patent system without making a significant investment in this important first step.

Confidentiality
The confidential information and material you provide to us about the idea will be maintained in complete confidence, in accordance with the attorney-client relationship.