DIY Patent Searches: Good Luck with That

Recently I’ve found websites and blog posts promoting your ability to conduct your own patent search.  Unless your invention is extremely straightforward, I would not recommend doing that. 

The U.S. Patent Office was created in 1802.  As such, issued patents were organized by categories or classes and subclasses.  As innovation has evolved, the categories of classes and subclasses has evolved and changed considerably.  Unless you are extremely familiar with the patent records organization, you are better off spending your money on a professional searcher who will find all of the relevant categorical nooks and crannies.  Often times a material, process or structure in your invention may have applicability in areas you have not considered.  These need to be identified and pursued in order to obtain a full and thorough search. 

Patentability must be based on a complete search to have value.  If not, you are spending good money after bad by investing in the preparation and filing of a patent application based on incomplete patent search results.  You are better off knowing that your invention is unpatentable than spending money on the preparation and filing of a meaningless application.  In addition, your application, and particularly your claims, can be tailored to that patentable space defined not only by your invention but by the relevant prior art found in a good search. 

Capitalizing on innovative developments is critical to any organization.  Having the right person to help you make those decisions is important.  The Law Office of Kathleen Lynch PLLC is designed to help businesses such as yours keep ahead of the game.   The first telephone consultation is free.  Email us at

Summertime Inventions

As we all head outdoors for summer activities and vacations, I thought I’d take a look at some recent summertime inventions that caught my eye.   The first is a “Flying Insect Repelling Hat”, US Publication No. 2015/0143612.  The hat includes a series of solar operated fans located along the brim and pointed toward the user.  The solar panel is located on the top of the hat.  The air movement powered by the fans keeps those pesky insects at bay.

Another is the “Turtle Friendly Beach Cleaning Device,” US Publication No. 2015/0144362.  Who knew that sea turtles and their hatchlings struggle with sand that is rippled or raked?  Now there is a device that cleans the beach sand but leaves the sand relatively flat which enables the turtles and hatchlings to make their way up and down the beach.

Last but certainly not least is the “Interlocking Swim Noodle,” US Publication No. 2015/0118927.   These swim noodles have a cross-sectional shape that looks something like a jigsaw puzzle piece with recesses and protrusions.  The recess of one noodle is sized and shaped to receive the protrusion of another noodle.  With enough noodles you can build a giant noodle fortress and rule the pool! 

If you have a summer time invention, identifying and protecting it is important to its commercial success.  Having the right person to help you through that process can make all the difference.  The Law Office of Kathleen Lynch PLLC is designed to help businesses such as yours keep ahead of the game.   The first telephone consultation is free.  Email us at

Happy summer!