Can I perform a patent search by myself?
A patent search for an invention can be performed by any person who has a fair knowledge of the technology to which the invention relates. However, the accuracy of the search may not be as good as the accuracy with which a patent professional might carry out a patent search. nnA patent search can be conducted using online databases. Relevant patent documents are mined from these databases using search queries. Hence, selecting an appropriate database(s) to carry out the search and formulating effective search queries are key aspects of a patent search activity. nnIn light of the data coverage and the search query flexibility offered by each of the databases, an appropriate database to carry out patent search may be selected based on our requirement. nSubsequent to selecting a database, search queries have to be formulated to query the database and retrieve relevant documents. A search query can include key words that are relevant to the technology coupled with syntaxes and boolean operator that are supported by the database. Alternatively, either exclusively or in combination with the key words, patent classification ( http://www.wipo.int/classifications/ipc/en/ )that are relevant to the technology can be used to query the database. nnThe effectiveness of the patent search largely depends on the ability to, formulate appropriate keyword strings and identify relevant patent classifications, in addition to using patent databases that provided wide scope of coverage and flexibility in formulating search queries (most paid databases are comparatively better than free databases in the aforementioned aspects).nn