If you want to successfully complete a patent search, you’ll need help. A patent search doesn’t just mean combing through patents or spending hours Googling. Any document in the public eye could result in a denial of your application if it could be used to recreate your idea. But don’t despair. A knowledgeable attorney can conduct a thorough patent search, and give you their all-important legal opinion, saving you time, worry, and even money.

At Bold Patents, we don’t just do a basic patent check online. Instead, we complete a comprehensive review to make sure we find any publication or patent document related to your invention. With us, you can uncover the potential barriers in your application and overcome them.

As a law firm, we include a written opinion with our search reports, which includes a recommendation based on the analysis of the prior art found. These legal opinions include analysis of not just acquisition of the patent rights, but enforceability should the eventual patent be litigated.

Patent Lawyer Search Options

There are three primary ways to complete a patent search. You can do it yourself, work with a patent database or conduct a patent attorney search to obtain legal services.


Some individuals choose to complete their patent searches themselves. This information is publicly accessible free of charge via the Patent Full-Text and Image Database.

However, if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you probably won’t uncover all the potential issues for your patent.

On top of that, the database doesn’t offer extensive options for prior art searches.

Patent Database

Many online databases attempt to consolidate patent information and help you improve your search process. Some of these patent search tools may also include access to prior art searches and provide a more user-friendly experience.

Some are free (e.g., Google Patents).

Many, however, are fee-based services, with prices increasing in accordance with detail and guidance.


A patent attorney will have a research team or department to help them uncover all potential patents or prior art that may impact your application. And you will get a written opinion on whether to move forward or not.

These individuals will be very familiar with the search process, so they’ll stand the most considerable chance of success.

You can either conduct a USPTO attorney lookup and pay for a single service or obtain more help through a full-service patent firm.

One thing you may have noticed above was the reference to prior art. Prior art is frequently the culprit in patent denials, but not all services will help you uncover it.

Patent Search vs. Prior Art Search

A patent search is just what it sounds like—you search through existing patents to locate inventions that may be like yours. However, it’s only a piece of the puzzle. Often, your issue won’t stem from an existing patent, it will come from non-patent related publications.

“Prior art” is a broader term that includes patent publications, but more importantly includes any public information available to a person of ordinary skill in the field of your invention. For example, an examiner may find a blueprint on a public website that shows how to make and build your invention. Unfortunately, that would mean that your invention is not unique and is, therefore, not patentable.

Even if the prior art doesn’t fully describe your invention, it’s frequently a basis for denial related to patent obviousness when combined with other references. In this situation, the examiner determines that someone with reasonable knowledge could use existing prior art to create your inventions. If you want to cover both patents and publications, work with an experienced intellectual property expert like Bold Patents.

Why a Patent Search by an Attorney Is Your Best Bet

Bold Patents understands the challenges involved in the search processes for prior art and patents. That’s why we do a comprehensive review to uncover anything that could be used to deny your application. And we don’t just work with prior art and patent issues, either. We can also guide you on possible revisions when a match is found, so you can differentiate your invention.

However, the most important reason for working with an attorney is for them to give you their legal opinion on whether you should continue forward and file a patent application. There are many things to consider in writing an opinion like this including a perspective on what scope of rights the inventor might have if a patent were granted. In some cases, even if it’s true the attorney could get a patent, the scope/claims would have to be so narrow, it wouldn’t be worth the time/money/effort to get the patent.

The best patent search isn’t a database or a DIY option. It’s Bold Patents, a fully remote firm that still offers the collaborative approach you get in an office and will give you a researched-backed legal opinion you can rely on. Reach out to us on our contact page or contact us at 800-849-1913 to learn more about how we can help you.