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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hi everyone, I’m J.D. Houvener, your host of the Bold Today Show, where you, the inventor, entrepreneur, or business owner, get your daily dose of inspiration so that you can make the world a better place. Happy Friday everybody, and this week we’ve taken a really good look, paying our respects to those that have passed away this past Memorial Day. Just continue to keep that in mind with the patriotic spirit really running through.

Before we launch off into the weekend, I want you to take a little chance here and just share in the comments below, interact with us a little bit. We care about the business and the products you provide and want to hear about some of those deeper meanings and why you do what you do. There’s almost always a really good reason for your interests, your passion, so please share them with us below. I’d love to hear that in the comment back.

Along with what we’ve talked about today in this week, I’ve looked at the American flag and looked at a couple of really neat examples of its design patents and utility patents, and some of the nuances and what makes up the difference, using the American flag as an example. As I thought about today’s script and what I was going to write, I paused and thought, well, it’d be kind of fun if I showed you how I did my searching, how I even found some of these patents on the American flag.

So you can see up here, we’re going to share with you an image of Google patents. I’m going to walk you through kind of the steps I took to do the filtering involved in doing a Google patent search. Go to, and you’ll see a really nice interface. It looks a lot like the regular Google interface, but this search is just for patents. Just type in some keywords. For me, I typed in “American flag,” that’s it.

When the search results pop up, you’ll see on the left side of the page the ability to add in filters. I added just a few simple filters and was able to get to exactly what I wanted. On the bottom of that, there’s a little selection where you can type in whether it’s a granted patent or just one that’s been published. A little nuance about what that means is that sometimes patent applications get submitted to the Patent Office, but the examiner for whatever reason says, this is not new, or it’s just another iteration of it, and therefore, it’s obvious under 35 section 103. It’s just been listed as a publication. It happens after 18 months of filing an application; it gets published, becomes part of the public knowledge, and it’s probably on its way to getting issued. We just haven’t seen it yet.

So whether it’s stalled out, become abandoned, or on its way to issuance, publications are an interesting way to get a broader internet search. I was interested in just those patents that have already been granted and issued, those that have legal authority and rights vested in them. So I selected “grant,” and you can do the same too. If you look down there further, you can see whether you want to have a utility patent or a design patent, so Google calls utility patents “patents” and design patents “design.” So I selected “design” when I was going to go look for the first invention with the three-dimensional Stars.

Then I looked for utility patents, patents in terms of the Google search, in order to get the other two inventions, one for the antenna-mounted flag and the other for the mechanically driven waving flag. You can see those two elements are selected. There’s another unique field that actually allows you to put a date range in as to when that publication was submitted or when the patent was granted. Here I wanted to take a look at some older patents, so I didn’t decide to put any date limitations on it.

So that’s it, folks. It’s really that easy. Google has made it incredibly fast to get these search results. Once you find the result you want, let’s just click on this one example. In the next page, I’m going to show you here after you click into that desired result, you can simply download the PDF, the full original PDF of the patent itself right there from within. Just click on the download button, and you can see that document come up.

Go through the first page of the patent just like you are on the website, just in a whole lot quicker manner, able to get through that tree using the search terms, as I mentioned before. I’m J.D. Houvener, your host of the Bold Today Show. I hope you enjoyed this little background into what goes on in the searching. If this was useful to you or you think it might be useful to a friend, family colleague, or someone you work with, that’d be awesome. Just forward this email to them. We want to try to grow our community.

Have a wonderful weekend everybody. Go big, go bold.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at