Patent Searching Basics

08.12.13

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) maintains a free, searchable database that is available at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/process/search/index.jsp. Before applying for a patent, a search for similar inventions is recommended to determine whether a patent is viable. When starting a search, one of the first considerations should be determining the key features of your invention. ... Continue Reading

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Stephen Hastings
Director of Communications & Media Relations  
214.745.5485
shastings@winstead.com

Search Tips:

You may use the wildcard symbol (*) as a root expander.  A search for "anti*" will find not only "anti", but also "anti-trust", "antique", etc.

Entering two terms together in a search field will behave as though an "OR" is being used.  For example, entering "Antique Motorcars" as a Client Name search will find results with either word in the Client Name.

Operators

AND and OR may be used in a search.  Note: they must be capitalized, e.g., "Project AND Finance." 

The + and - sign operators may be used.  The + sign indicates that the term immediately following is required, while the - sign indicates to omit results that contain that term. E.g., "+real -estate" says results must have "real" but not "estate".

To perform an exact phrase search, surround your search phrase with quotation marks.  For example, "Project Finance".

Searches are not case sensitive.

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