How to Research Ideas to Patent
- 1). Search the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website to search established patents. Visit the "Process for Obtaining a Utility Patent" web page.You can also use the general "Search for Patents" page. Search through full-text and full-image patents online. Use these ideas as a starting point to trigger ideas for a patent of your own. Make notes of key words and observations about both the established patents and those still under way. Research these notes to brainstorm new ideas.
Come up with a way to improve a simple tool.Garden Tool image by Abrie Viljoen from Fotolia.com
Learn about the newest trends in your area of interest. For instance, if you are interested in designing a new garden tool, check out a book or visit a website to view the latest tool products and designs. Observe helpful qualities and faults you find in the tool. Research on-line or in books ways in which you could improve upon the design.
Join a forum to discuss patent ideas anonymously.young woman making an online purchase image by Paul Hill from Fotolia.com
Join a creative invention forum. Sort through the forum topics seeking one related to your field. For instance, if you are looking to come up with a new invention for hiking safety gear, join a recreational forum. Discuss patent ideas with forum members. Get an idea of what others are coming up with and how they might differ from some of your ideas. Jot down some concerns, questions and issues you glean from the discussion that might help you create an original idea.
- 4). Compare and contrast. Select an object you want to improve upon or one close to what you want to invent. Consider the product not a solitary object but in the line of all the tools that have come before it. Think of the process like evolution: ask yourself what idea came before this product to create it and what would make sense to follow it. Create an adaptation that improves the tool's design and usability.
Interview friends, family or co-workers about changes they wish they could see in modern products.female interviewer image by Peter Baxter from Fotolia.com
Interview friends, family, fellow students or colleagues as reliable research subjects. Type up a few interview questions or create a questionnaire. Ask individuals to list everyday objects or specialty tools they use. Invite them to describe ways they wish stores or inventors would improve the object, for instance for safety or user-friendly features. Gather the question responses and research ways you could realize these changes.