Introduction to U.S. Patent Searches

A U.S. patent search (a.k.a. USPTO patent search, patent office search) involves a patent searcher searching the public records at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) for patent records that could materially affect the patentability of your invention.  This page provides an overview of the U.S. patent search process and the patent search services performed by Neustel Law Offices.

What is “Searched” in a U.S. Patent Search?

A U.S. patent search only researches the following types of U.S. patent documents:
  • Granted U.S. patents.  All patents (not patent applications) granted by the USPTO are published and are searchable by anyone.
  • Published U.S. patent applications.  Some patent applications are “published” by the USPTO after 18 months of pendency and are also searchable.  Keep in mind that not all patent applications are published even if they have been patent pending for more than 18 months.
If you want additional items searched, talk to your patent attorney to see if they can assist you.

What is Not Searched in a U.S. Patent Search

A U.S. patent search does not search for the following types of items:
  • Foreign Patents or Foreign Patent Applications
  • Non-Published U.S. Patent Applications
  • Commercial Products Previously and Currently Sold
  • Non-Patent Publications (e.g. Technical Publications)

A Patent Search is Not a Guarantee of Patentability

While a U.S. patent search is generally accurate, there are no guarantees that every patent will be found by the patent searcher (there are millions of United States patents to search through).  In addition, while your patent attorney’s patentability opinion may indicate that he/she believes that your invention is patentable based upon the patents found in the patent search, a USPTO Examiner may have a different opinion of patentability based upon the same patents (or the USPTO Patent Examiner may cite additional patents that they find during their own patent search). Hence, while U.S. patent searches are generally reliable, they are not a guarantee that you will get a patent or that a USPTO Patent Examiner will not find additional patents.

Our U.S. Patent Search Services

We usually provide U.S. patent searches and patentability opinions for a flat-fee.  Our patent search results and patentability are e-mailed to you in a PDF format so you receive them immediately and to easily share them with other individuals on a need-to-know basis.  When you work with Neustel Law Offices, you will get the following with a U.S. patent search:
  • U.S. Patent Search.  A search of U.S. patents and U.S. published patent applications performed by an independent patent searcher.
  • Patentability Opinion.  A patentability opinion providing an analysis as to potential patentability of your invention signed by a registered patent practitioner.
  • Electronic Copies of Patent Documents.  Electronic copies (PDF) of the U.S. patents and U.S. published patent applications found by the U.S. patent search.
If you would like a U.S. patentability search performed, the first step to work with our patent law firm is to complete our Invention Disclosure Form.  Once we receive your invention information, we will contact you regarding the flat-fee for performing the patentability search and opinion.

Request More U.S. Patent Search Information

If you would like more information about our U.S. patent search services, you can Request a Free Patent Brochure or call us at 1-701-281-8822 to speak with a U.S. Patent Attorney.  You can also request a patent search online using our Legal Service Request Form.