I'm a newbie and I'm hoping to get some pretty interesting ideas from you guys about patent searching and the different tools and techniques I can use.
A patent search is most often the first step in achieving different objectives, some of which are:
- Determining the probability of having a patent granted to a proposed invention
- Determining if you have the freedom to operate
- Determining if a granted patent can be invalidated
Based on the objective, the search strategy can vary to some extent. Also, in addition to conducting a search in patent databases, a search can be conducted to identify relevant non-patent literature.
A couple of free online patent databases I suggest are:
- Espacenet: Good data coverage
- Freepatentsonline: Good search interface. Patent data coverage is not as good as Espacenet
Using any of the above mentioned search databases, you can use various search strategies to identify relevant patent publications.
Top 5 patent search strategies:
- Key string search
- Patent classification search
- Citation based search
- Assignee based search
- Inventor based search
You may refer to the below link to understand more about the top 5 patent search strategies: http://www.invntree.com/blogs/how-conduct-patent-search
Depending on the technology area, Google Scholar is about the best you can do for free. You'll end up getting hits on papers that are not free, but a lot of the scholarly papers are available for free. Google Scholar also searches patents at the same time, so its use is both time and cost effective.
There are multiple ways to do so. Firstly you need to find out the keywords what you are searching for.
You need use the various sites Google patents, free patents etc. Also, you can make the alternative keywords to search.
It all depends what you are searching for and what you want to achieve by searching. If your intention is to just search for learning and research, you will have a different strategy but if you have a new idea and want to check if its really and someone have already patented it or not, you need to devise a different strategy.
Semantic search engines can be very powerful as well because the remove the search bias caused by human selection of keywords and classifications to include in the search. Semantic search engines are agnostic to these things.
You can learn a bit more about how semantic patent search helps the process here: http://docs.ipstreet.com/docs/concept-search