Since the US patent office opened in 1790, brains across the united states have been submitting all sorts of great products and half-baked guidelines to their database. Nowadays, many individuals get ideas for great products only to offer the patent office start a patent search and tell them that their ideas have already been patented by someone else! Herin lies a question: How do i perform patent search to find out if my innovation had been patented before I invest time and money into developing it?
The us patent office patent search database is available to anyone with internet access.
Performing a patent search with the patent searching tools on the US Patent office webpage can prove to be a very time consuming process. For example, patent searching the database for “dog” and “food” brings 5745 patent search results. The straight-forward approach to investigating the patent search results for your particular idea is to go through all 5745 results one at a time looking for yours. Get some munchies and settle in, this could take a while! The patent search database sorts results by patent number instead of relevancy. This means that if your idea was recently patented, you will find it near the top but if it had not been, you could be searching for quite a while. Also, most patent search results have images associated with them. scrape google search results Downloading and displaying these images over the internet can be very time consuming depending on you internet connection and the option of the patent search database servers.
Because patent searches take way too long, many companies and organizations are seeking ways to improve process. Some organizations and companies will hire employees for the sole reasons like performing patent searches for them. Others contract out the job to small business that specialize in patent searches. The latest technology for performing patent searches is called patent scraping.
Patent scraping is the process of writing computer automated scripts that analyze a website and copy only the content you are interested in into easy to access repository or spreadsheets on your computer. Because it is a computerized software performing the patent search, you don’t need a different employee to get the data, you can allow it run the patent scraping while you perform other important tasks! Patent scraping technology can also get text content from images. By saving the images and textual content to your computer, you can then very efficiently search them for content and relevancy; thus saving you lots of time that could be better spent actually inventing something!
To put a real-world face on this, let us consider the pharmaceutic industry. Many different companies are competing for the patent on the next big drug. It has become an needed tactic of the industry for one company to perform patent searches for what patents the other companies are applying for, thus learning in which direction the research and development team of the other company is taking them. Using this information, the company can then choose to either pursue that direction heavily, or spin off in a different direction. It would quickly become extremely expensive to maintain a team of researchers dedicated to only performing patent searches all day. Patent scraping technology is the method for figuring out what ideas and technologies are coming about before they make headline news. It is by utilizing patent scraping technology that the large companies stay up to date on the latest trends in technology.
While some companies choose to hire their own programming team to do their patent scraping scripts for them, it is much much less expensive to contract out the job to a qualified team of programmers dedicated to performing such services.