• last updated : 20 April, 2023

How to Look for Existing Patents

Category: Blog
Existing Patents

Existing patents will influence how you approach innovation, whether you’re an innovator trying to grow a startup or a member of a research and development team at a large corporation. In your field, patented processes and products may inspire significant improvements to your innovation or constrain your ability to protect your own ideas. 

While searching for existing patents does not always yield the desired results, it is necessary. A thorough patent search can boost your confidence in your final product’s patentability or help you decide whether a technology is worth pursuing. Because patent searches have such serious consequences, you should conduct them at all stages of the innovation process, including during ideation and well before disclosing your invention. 

4 Ways for Searching for Existing Patents

1. Illustrate Your Invention

You must perfectly describe your technology in order to find patents that are similar to your invention. Consider the purpose and physical composition of the product or process. Make use of appropriate technical terms, keywords, and synonyms. 

Throughout your search for existing patents, you may find yourself returning to this step. You may want to reconsider how you search for patents as you become acquainted with the scientific language and classifications being used to describe inventions like yours. Taking the time to fine-tune your description will also help a professional patent searcher find relevant results later on.

2. Use Patent Search Tools

Using a patent search tool, such as XLSCOUT’s Novelty Checker, find useful results based on the description of your invention that you wrote in step one. Novelty Checker’s semantic search capabilities enable you to use natural language to find patents that are closely related to your idea. Because it eliminates the need for proficiency in technical patent searching methods such as patent classifications and Boolean search operators, Novelty Checker becomes more user-friendly for employees throughout the innovation cycle. 

The XLSCOUT database contains patents from around the world as well as non-patent literature. While searching through this much technical content can be overwhelming, the capabilities of our patent search tool allow you to start broad and then refine your search results using a variety of filters. Furthermore, the AI-powered platform ranks results based on relevance to assist you in prioritizing which patents to review first. 

How does XLSCOUT help in Searching for Existing Patents? 

XLSCOUT put the use of reinforcement learning to its AI-based Novelty Checker patent search tool to get quality patent research reports in just 10 minutes. The Novelty Checker uses reinforcement learning to filter the noise from the prior art by pulling up the relevant results on top of the list. To be precise, it assists in conducting patentability search/patent research to help you ensure that your innovation is unique. By selecting a few relevant and non-relevant results, users can apply them to the result set. The system takes the user’s feedback and then learns from it. It uses conceptual searching and re-ranks the results by bringing the quality results to the top and sending the noise to the bottom.   

Without reinforcement learning, users go through hundreds of results manually. By applying this process, users can skip going through the non-relevant results. Reinforcement can also be applied multiple times to a result set according to users’ different requirements/criteria. Users can then view the Top-10 or Top-20 results for each criterion to perform a prior-art analysis for idea validation.   

Users can quickly generate an automated novelty and patentability search report by selecting these Top-10 or 20 results. The Novelty Checker prior art search reports include a list of results along with relevant text mapping with the key features of the invention for enabling quick decision-making.

3. Review Relevant Results

Once you’ve compiled a list of patents that appear to be closely related to your invention, get to work. Examine the claims, drawings, and specifications of these patents to see if your new process or product would infringe on existing intellectual property. For additional relevant results, review patents cited in your results set in addition to patents that cite these patents. 

4. Invest in a Professional Search

Given the number of self-service patent search tools available, a professional patent search service may appear to be an unnecessary expense. However, it takes skill to quickly sift through the millions of patent applications submitted each year, not to mention the vast databases of non-patent literature. When the thousands of dollars required to patent an invention are at stake, the cost of a couple of professional patent searches is well worth it. 

Investing in a professional patent search to locate existing patents is especially important if your own search yields no relevant patents. In-depth, relevant search results, even if they uncover a similar invention to yours, increase the likelihood that your patent application could very well describe a patentable technology. 

To know more, get in touch with us. ( Fix a meeting )