Looking for patent information
I have worked over the years with several highly skilled professional patent searchers. For a really important patentability or freedom to operate analysis their skills are invaluable. However, looking for patent publications at a high level is so easy to do and really worthwhile if you want to see how other people have tried to solve the technical challenge that your business is facing. There's no point reinventing the wheel. My recommendation is to look at the European Patent Office's EspaceNet service. It is simple and free to use. Just put a variety of relevant abstract terms in, remembering that one person's "car' is another person's "automobile". Looking at title terms is often not useful because patent attorneys often use fairly bland titles for their client's patent applications. The EPO has just extended these full-text searches to look for terms used in the description and claims. If you are really interested in using this free search tool then work out the International Patent Classification (IPC) or Co-operative Patent Classification code for your technology and use those codes in your searches. The built in help shows you how to do this.
You can find EspaceNet at: worldwide.espacenet.com
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