We always encourage our clients to do their homework before making any large investments, whether it is a business purchase, trademark application, or marketing your innovative product. Before investing time and money in manufacturing a product or applying for patent protection, you should make sure that your product or system is not already patented by someone else. This is done through a patent search. The results of a patent search will either save you from a costly useless investment (and possibly future infringement lawsuits), or it will confirm that you are making a lucrative personal or business decision.
There are many patent search tools available. Two popular ones are Google patents and freepatentsonline.com. However, few are both free and effective. ArchPatent is a new, free-to-use patent search resource that became available to the public on October 11, 2011. ArchPatent has US patents extending back to 1920 in its database.
As with any brand new tool, ArchPatent does not come without its drawbacks. However, the team behind the new patent search tool is ready to meet the demands of its users. Many new features suggested by users, such as collaborative workspaces, matching of search terms within a single claim, filtering and advanced processing based on patents referenced and in-page PDF display, may well be seen in future releases.
It should be said that the patent world is complicated and often difficult to understand and navigate, and for these reasons, a professional service that utilizes search tools with larger databases and professionals who are well-versed in ‘patentspeak’ are always your best option. But if you are comfortable with electronic navigation, have a general understanding of the patent system and are looking for is a do-it-yourself tool to get basic, reliable results, then PatentArch might be a good choice for you.
To learn more, visit the ArchPatent website at https://archpatent.com/home.htm.