To Be Patentable, Your Invention

Must Be New And Novel
Must Not Already Be Patented
Must Not Be In Use For More Than One Year
Must Not Be Obvious
Must Be Useful

Patent Searching

The first step in determining if your idea is patentable is the most important one and that's why we recommend that all patent investigations begin with an initial free review and then if justified a patentability search conducted on your new idea. We use professional searchers in Washington, D.C. who determine the proper class and sub-class of your proposed invention. They look for (prior art) the patents that have already been issued so that we can determine patentability of your invention. Complete copies of the patents located in the search are then forwarded to us for review and comparison against your invention. We then will provide you with an opinion of patentability based on those reference patents located in the search and determine the relative chances of success of a patent application for you in view of those references.

The reason a patent search is so important is that it uncovers the prior art (old patents) that is similar to your invention. This not only allows us to determine the patentability of your invention, but also allows the inventor to compare them. By studying the prior art, the inventor may then be able to "reinvent" his original design. The more unique the invention is the more patentable it is. You may be able to make modifications inspired by the prior art maximizing your chances of success a the Patent Office. We will re-evaluate such modifications in view of the prior art references located in the search and provide you a second opinion of patentability based on such changes at no charge to you.

At Harpman & Harpman we have years of experience having conducted thousands of patentability searches. This experience affords us the ability to initially review the client's invention (at no charge) and determine if a search should be done. If we have seen or searched similar devices in the past then typically we would not recommend that a search be made.