Patent Search – Types & Online Tools

In order to get patent protection, you first need to do a search to see if anyone else is currently working on the same data. As a creator, you need to do your research before going through the process of filing ou the patent application and submitting it. In this blog, we will discuss the patent searches, types of patent searches, and online tools that can assist in you conducting a patent search. So, let’s dig into it.

The Types of Patent Searches

There are many different types of patent searches, each with its own pros and cons. Here are some of the most popular types of patent searches:

Keyword Search

A keyword search is the simplest type of search and can be done using any patent search database. You simply enter a few keywords that describe the invention you are looking for. The database will return a list of relevant patents. The downside of keyword searches is that they can be very general. It may return a large number of results that are not really relevant to your needs.

Citation Search

A citation search looks for patents that have been cited by other patents. This can be a good way to find related inventions or to find earlier versions of the same invention. However, it is important to note that not all the citations are created equally – some may be more relevant than others.

Classification Search

This type of search narrows down your results by searching within a specific patent classification. This can be helpful if you know the general category that your invention falls into. It is important to consider that it is not possible to assign a classification to all types of patents. This is why a classification search may not be useful for cases.

Expert Search

An expert search is similar to a citation search, but it looks for the patents that have been cited by experts in the same field. This can be helpful if you want to find out information from the industry leaders. In addition to that, expert search helps you keep updated with more information that’s present in the public domain. An expert patent search is time-consuming when it comes to generating reports. Thus, it is recommended to use it if you are looking for a specific opinion.

Business Method Search

A business method search will look through patent records for patents related to a particular type of business method. Things like financial activities, computer-related inventions, and other areas where there is technology embedded into the working of the invention.

Different Types of Patents

There are three different types of patents that you can search for in a patent database – design patents, utility patents, and plant patents.

  1. Design Patents are granted for the ornamental design of an object. This can include the overall shape of the object or specific features such as color or pattern.
  2. Utility Patents are granted for inventions that are new and useful. This can include anything from a new type of engine to a new way to make a widget.
  3. An applicant can get a plant patent for new varieties of plants. This can include the hybridization of two different plant species or the development of a new species.

Online Tools For Patent Searching

There are a number of online tools available to help you search for patents. The USPTO website provides a number of resources, including the Patent Full-Text and Image Database. It also offers a Patent Examination Research Data Retrieval System. The European Patent Office also has a searchable patent database. Other useful websites include Google Patents and FreePatentsOnline.

When searching for a patent, it is important to use the correct keywords and search terms. You can also narrow your search by date, country, and other criteria. If you are not sure where to start, try asking for the advice of a patent attorney.

A patent search can be very time-consuming. However, it is also important to identify whether an invention has already been patented or not. Thus, with these online patent searching tools, you can find relevant information about the idea or invention which is proposed for patent protection.


There is a lot of patent search database that you can use to identify whether an invention has been patented or not. This can help you save time and money if you are pursuing the wrong invention. Online patent search databases such as USPTO, and Google Patents are free to use and offer relevant results. Further, they have a great user interface and are really easy to use. There are a lot of paid patent databases available as well. On the flip side, if you are not sure where to start or running late on time, it is best to hire a patent attorney.

Hire Patent Drafting Catalyst

Patent Drafting Catalyst can help you in conducting a patent search so you can save time and effort. We have a team of experts who have access to different tools to conduct a patent search. Get in touch with us to know more about our Patent Search service.

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