Patent Search Guide

Purposes:

  1. Provide step-by-step guides to help users to search patent efficiently
  2. Demonstrate use of Petapator to gain insights on patent search results

Step 1 – Understand the subject matter

The first step is to understand the subject matter that you are searching for patents.  There is no need to learn everything before searching.  However, at least, relevant Wikipedia pages should be studied.  Wikipedia is always a good starting point.

The second step is to find out the companies who are the leaders in the subject matter.  Visit Google Finance, Yahoo Finance, Seeking Alpha should provide you lots of materials in one to two hours.  For whose who are a bit more diligent, SEC’s Edgar Online may give you some surprises in the business discussion sections and risk disclosure sections in their prospectus, quarter report and annual report.  Public companies are eager to disclose a lot in their materials submitted to SEC in order to fulfill different SEC requirements.

At this point, it is likely that a few hours should have already been spent.  If you spend more than a day so far, you may be too greedy to try to search too much or may have been drifted to irrelevant areas.   Of course, the more you practice, the more efficient you will become.