How to Use a Professional Patent Searcher?

If you don’t want to research yourself, you can hire professional patent researchers, such as a patent attorney or agent.  One advantage of hiring a professional is that he/she understands the concept of novelty and obvious so he/she may do more thorough research than a non-professional.

1. what to give the researcher

Before preforming a patentability search, a researcher needs to know about your invention so if he/she is not a patent attorney or agent, have him/her sign a confidentiality agreement.  If you’re working with a patent attorney or agent, this is not necessary because your conversations with him/her are already considered confidential under the law.

Next, provide your researcher a description of the invention, including what makes it novel, drawings, an idea of what classes to search, and applicable deadlines.  If you provide your researcher with your inventor’s notebook, be sure to protect yourself by only providing a copy and redacting any dates in this copy of the notebook.

2. what to expect from the researcher

After the researcher is finished, he/she will usually tell you what they found, including what classes and subclasses he/she searched, and patents and references he/she discovered.  If you are working with a patent attorney or agent, he/she will also provide his/her opinion about the patentability of your invention.