You’ve just had a great idea and you want to patent an improvement on an existing product, but have to be sure not to infringe upon the patent or patents on the already existing products. This can be tricky.
Proving Your Idea is Novel
The most important part of patenting an improvement on an existing product is to prove to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that your idea is in fact novel and unobvious.
Conducting a Prior Art Search
Initially you must conduct a prior art search to understand how significant your improvement is from the existing patented product. Then you should start listing and creating a diagram of the improvements that you want to apply for.
Why Conduct a Prior Art Search?
Patentability searches help you to be sure you idea is original, clearance searches help to ensure that you are not infringing upon someone else’s rights, validity searches can be used to determine the scope of the existing product that your competitor filed, and landscape searches help you to gain knowledge of what others in your field are currently up to.
You can start your prior art search online by searching a group of keywords. It is important to note that the places to look for your search include academic papers, product journals, scientific journals, books, videos, and more.
Getting Your Acceptance
Commonly, the Patent Examiner initially rejects a patent application because the patent examiner finds at least one claim that is already covered by another patent. However, you can revise your claims to distinguish them from the prior art that the examiner has cited.
Scully, Scott, Murphy & Presser Can Help
If you are looking to get your patent improvement accepted or looking to just get a patent accepted, the knowledgeable attorneys at Scully, Scott, Murphy & Presser can help. It is important to correctly protect your work so that no one else can infringe upon it. Our lawyers work with clients to get them the safeguard they deserve. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, visit us online or call us at 516-742-4343 today.
Posted in: Patents