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PatentQuest. Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County. WHY SEARCH PATENTS?. 80% of patent information is never disclosed or published elsewhere. Patents contain a wealth of specific technical detail, research data, and drawings. 40% of US patents granted to foreign nationals.

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slide1

PatentQuest

Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County

why search patents
WHY SEARCH PATENTS?
  • 80% of patent information is never disclosed or published elsewhere.
  • Patents contain a wealth of specific technical detail, research data, and drawings.
  • 40% of US patents granted to foreign nationals.
  • Patents and patent applications often published earlier than academic papers.
  • The USA over 8 million granted patents representing 170 years of technology.
detailed look at patents
Detailed Look at Patents
  • Must apply for and receive a patent to have protection
  • Gives inventor the ‘right to exclude’ others from making, using, selling or offering to sell the invention during the life of the patent
  • Three types of patents:

*Utility

* Design

* Plant

utility patents
Utility Patents

Protect new and useful machines, processes, composition of matter, business methods … or a significant improvement

in one of these

Most common type of patent

Protection lasts for 20 years from date of application, but term may be adjusted in some instances

design patents
Design Patents

Protect the design, appearance or ornamentation of an invention, not how it works

Protection lasts 14 years from date of issue

Terms are not adjusted

plant patents
Plant Patents

Protection lasts for 20 years from date of application

conditions for patentability
Conditions for Patentability

Invention must be:

Patentable subject matter

Useful

New

Non-Obvious

slide9

C

A

B

D

F

E

G

F

slide10

H

Parts of a Patent document.

Parts of a Patent document.

keyword or classification search
Keyword or Classification Search?

Keyword searching is quick; requires little specialized search skills. More appropriate for very recently developed technologies where USPTO classifications have not yet been developed. However, not comprehensive and patents before 1976 must be searched by classification or patent number. Only PubWEST provides keyword searching back to 1920!

USPTO Classification searching is more comprehensive and has no date restrictions; organized hierarchically by the invention features as described in the patent. Our presentation will utilize the preferred classification method.

slide15
Describe invention; determine keywords and initial classification.

Search Tools

Index to the U.S. Patent Classification System (USPC)

in various resource formats.

keywords
Keywords

Write down keywords or terms that describe your invention.

Be as accurate and exhaustive as possible.

Avoid overly broad terms such as “device,” “process” and “system.”

Consult general and technical dictionaries for help. Also a literary thesaurus is useful.

STEP 1 – Extract Keywords from Invention Description

five questions
Five Questions

What is the purpose of my invention? Is it a design or utility function?

Is it a process or a product?

What is it made of?

How is it used?

What are some common and technical terms that describe the nature of the invention?

STEP 1 – Five Questions

a better mousetrap
A Better Mousetrap

STEP 1 – A Sketch or Model Can Help

Container

Mousetrap, mouse trap, rodent, vermin, pest, mammal, trap, trapping, capturing, etc.

BinBoxBucketPail Receptacle

Opening

Access way DoorwayEntrance EntrywayPortal

Rotating dowel

Axle CylinderPipe PlatformRodBobbinSpindle

Ramp

Ladder/stepsInclined plane

how it works
How It Works

STEP 1 – Consider How the Invention Works

locate initial classification
Locate Initial Classification

Look up keywords in the Index to the U.S. Patent Classification System (USPC)

Mouse Trap, Rat Trap, Rodent Trap

Mousetrap

Trap

Trapping

STEP 1 – Locate Keywords

index to the uspc
Index to the USPC

Intended means of entry into the classification system.

Alphabetical list of terms referring to specific classes and subclasses.

Four levels of indentation.

Published annually in a book format. Also available on USPTO Web and Cassis.

STEP 1 – Index to the USPC

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STEP 1 – Index to the USPC

Go to “M” to look up first keywords, “mouse trap” and “mousetrap.”

index term mouse trap
Index Term “Mouse Trap”

STEP 1 – Index to the USPC

Mounting Tires on wheels . . . . . . . . . . . . 157

Mouse Computer input and control devices . . . 345/156+ Guard Piano pedal openings . . . . . . . . 84/233 Multicellular living organisms . . . . . 800 Traps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43/58+

Mouth Bag holders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 248/99+

Initial classification.

other keywords
Other Keywords

Don’t forget to check other keywords, for example “rat,” rodent,” “trap” and “trapping,” in order to locate additional classifications.

STEP 1 – Index to the USPC

index term trap
Index Term “Trap”

STEP 1 – Index to the USPC

Transuranium Compounds Inorganic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 423/250+ Organic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 534/11+

Trap & Trapping Animal, etc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43/58+ ... Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D22/119+ ... Fish, game, vermin traps . . . . . . . D22/119+

...

Additional design classification.

http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/classification/uspcindex/indext.htm

initial classifications
Initial Classifications

Mouse, Trap 43/58+

Trap & Trapping, Design D22/119+

STEP 1 – Initial Classifications

+ indicates that the entry includes that subclass and all subclasses indented thereunder.

* Indicates cross-referenced art collection.

class titles and descriptions
Class Titles and Descriptions

The Index is not exhaustive and may not always contain the keywords that describe your invention.

As an alternative, try scanning or searching the class titles to determine where your invention might fit.

STEP 1 – Scan Class Titles and Descriptions

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STEP 1 – Browse Class Titles and Descriptions

Class number and title list.

Click on Class Numbers & Titles link

slide30

STEP 1 – Browse Class Titles and Descriptions

Use your browser’s Find function to search the list of class titles.

Consider synonyms, e.g. “vehicles” for autos or trucks or cars.

http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/classification/selectnumwithtitle.htm

slide31

STEP 1 – Browse Class Titles and Descriptions

Class 43 – Fishing, Trapping, and Vermin Destroying

slide32

STEP 1 – Search Keywords in Patent Database

If scanning class titles doesn’t work, try simple keyword searching in USPTOpatent database.

Click drop down arrow and select “Title” field

http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/search-bool.html

slide33

STEP 1 – Browse Titles and Abstracts

Possible match? “Rotating cylinder rodent trap.”

slide34

STEP 1 – “Rotating Cylinder Rodent Trap”

Note current U.S. Class.

The Field of Search shows additional classes searched by the patent examiner.

step 1 summary
Step 1 - Summary

Use keywords to locate initial classification using these methods:

1. Index to the USPC.

2. Browse class titles and descriptions.

3. Keyword search in patent database.

Tip: Take detailed notes including the class names and numbers, e.g. Mouse, Trap 43/58+

STEP 1 – Summary

slide36
Using the initial classifications, determine the best classifications for your invention.

Search Tools

Manual of Classification - Class Schedules

Step 2.

locate class and subclass numbers
Locate class and subclass numbers

Use the Manual of Classification to further narrow your classes and subclasses.

Formats available include print, USPTO Website Patent Classification and on DVD PatentsASSIST.

STEP 2 – Manual of Classification

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STEP 2 – Manual of Classification

Note: subclass numbers are not necessarily listed in sequential order. They are subclass identifiers and shift position when that subclass is moved within a schedule.

Subclasses under class 43

43/6943/7143/74

Class heading: Fishing, Trapping, and Vermin Destroying

http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/classification/uspc043/sched043.htm

scan the entire class schedule
Scan the entire class schedule

STEP 2 – Manual of Classification – General to Specific

43 FISHING, TRAPPING, AND VERMIN DESTROYING

58 TRAPS

64 . Self and ever set

69 .. Tiltable platform

71 .. Rotatable platform

74 .. Rotating door or platform

Pay attention to the hierarchical dot indents.

slide41

STEP 2 – Manual of Classification – Design Classes

If none of the classes appear relevant,

return to Step 1 and revise strategy.

D22/119

http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/classification/uspcd22/schedd22.htm

slide42
Read the class definitions for the classifications you selected in Step 2and determine relevancy.

Search Tools

Classification Definitions

Step 3.

classification definitions
Classification Definitions

Read the corresponding subclass definitions to establish the scope of subclass(es) relevant to your search.

Definitions also include “See” references that will point you to additional appropriate classes and subclasses.

Available from the USPTO Website Patent Classification link, or DVD PatentsASSIST, or Class Definitions microfiche at the library.

STEP 3 – Classification Definitions

slide44

STEP 3 – From the Manual of Classification on the USPTO web…

Class head 43: Fishing, Trapping, & Vermin Destroying

Click on subclassnumbers to get definition details.

For now, avoid clicking on the red boxed “P” letters.

slide46

STEP 4 – Browse Retrieved Patents

64 . Self and ever set

65 .. Non-return entrance

66 ... Victim-opened

67 ... Victim-closed

68 .. Sinking compartment

69 .. Tiltable platform

70 ... Trigger-released

71 .. Rotatable platform

72 ... Trigger-released

73 . Self-reset

74 .. Rotating door or platform

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

Under class heading 43: Fishing, Trapping, and Vermin Destroying

Click on “P” icon to retrieve all patents in the given subclass.

http://www.uspto.gov/go/classification/uspc043/sched043.htm

slide47

STEP 4 – Are we on the right track? Does this list resemble our invention?

“Rotating cylinder rodent trap.”

retrieve subclass es
Retrieve Subclass(es)

Best subclasses: 43/71, 43/74

Other subclasses: 43/69, D22/119

“See” subclasses: 119/158, 232/47, 232/60

STEP 4 – Retrieve Subclasses

browse documents
Browse Documents

Note the numbers of patent documents that are closely related to your invention.

STEP 4 – Browse and Select Documents

Remember to search patents and published applications separately.

closely related patents
Closely Related Patents

STEP 4 – Note Closely Related Patent Documents

Number

Title

6,557,295

Rodent trap device

6,212,819

Reusable, odorless rodent trap

5,996,274

Rodent trap

5,528,852

Rotating cylinder rodent trap

5,782,034

Rodent trap

4,845,887

Scented mouse trap

D382,039

Mouse trap with ramp and spinning bait bobbin

slide52

Review relevant patentsfrom patent databases.

Step 5.

Search ToolsUSPTO Web, DVD USAPat, or paper and microfilm patents at Library.

Click on Search link under Patents

www.uspto.gov

read relevant documents
Read Relevant Documents

Review the complete specifications and drawings of the patent documents you have identified. If necessary, go back to Step 1 and rethink your strategy.

TIFF PLUG-IN NOTE: Patent Image Viewers are required to access full image of patent documents. This is vital for viewing patents before 1976 on the USPTO Website. See following web page for more:

http://www.uspto.gov/patft/help/images.htm

STEP 5 – Read Relevant Patents and Published Applications

slide55

STEP 5 – Study Drawings and Specifications

 My mousetrap.

If necessary, return to Step 1 and rethink your strategy.

slide56
Check cited references on patents and previously published applications.

Step 6.

Search Tools

Patent and Application Databases

cited references on patents
Cited References on Patents

Most U.S. patents contain references to related U.S. patents and published applications. Check these references for additional information and classifications cited in the patent found in Step 6.

Use USPTO Website or DVD USAPat

STEP 6 – Check Cited References on Patents

slide58

STEP 6 – Check Cited References – Citation Linking

Forward citation search links patents that cite the displayed patent.

References provided by the applicant and patent examiner.

Additional classifications to search?

also published applications
Also Published Applications

Since 2001, the PTO has published pending applications that may contain more information than what appears in the final issued patent; it is necessary to check all related PGPubs (Pre-Grant Publications).

STEP 6 – Check Previously Published Applications

Search Tools

Application Databases on USPTO Web or DVD USAApp at library.