how to find out if an idea has been patented
how do i do a patent search - Learn about using the USPTO's AppFT product for searching patent applications.What can be patented?
Utility patents protect inventions that are a novel, nonobvious, and usefulHow long does patent protection last? (As of year 2005)
Utility and plant patents are granted for a term which begins with the date of the grant and usually ends 20 years from the date the applications were filed. You must make the timely payment of the appropriate maintenance fees. Design patents last 14 years from the date you are granted the patent. No maintenance fees are required for design patents.How much money do I need for patenting?
The amount of money you need for patenting will vary depending on the type of patent application you submit. Fees may also vary according to the way you claim your ideas.Why is classification so important?
While it is possible to search patents using keywords, the best way to conduct a comprehensive patent search is by classification. Classification helps bring together similar devices and concepts, even when different terms have been used to describe them. When a device is truly new, terminology is not set. For example, before personal computers a mouse was nothing more than a rodent. The inventor of the first "Computer Input and Display Control" would not have found related devices by searching the keyword "mouse." A classification is used both as a tool for finding patents (patentability searches), and for assisting in the assignment of patent applications to examiners for examination purposes. Classifications have definitions. Classifications have hierarchical relationships to one another.