Richard L. Miller

The Preliminary Patentability Search

First Step For Inventors

What is a preliminary patentability search?

A preliminary patentability search looks to see if your invention appears to be patentable over prior US patents.  Your search will include copies of all relevant prior art found in the search, as well as my professional opinion on whether or not your invention appears to be patentable over that prior art.

How much does a search cost?

A search can be free, or even better than free, if it turns out favorably.  We offer a full credit of the search fee to any client who authorizes us to prepare a patent application within a month's time.  If your search results in favorable reports for both a utility and a design application, then you can get double your search fee as a credit!

We also offer lowered search fees for inventors with multiple inventions.  See the chart on this page to find out how much you can save.

Why do a search first?

The patent process can be expensive, and a search is a very cost-effective way to find out whether you should try filing for a patent.  Also, the search gives you valuable information about what kind of patent you should apply for: utility or design.  Additionally, a search gives you a view of the state of the art in your field, so that we can prepare a stronger application for you.

What does a search tell me?

A search gives two important pieces of information.  First, it gives an opinion on whether or not your invention appears patentable over prior US patents.  Second, and just as valuable, it gives an opinion on what type of patent, a utility patent, design patent, or both, your invention appears eligible for.
  • A utility patent protects the way an article is used and works.
  • A design patent protects the way an article looks.
Because many inventions contain elements suited for each a utility and a design, and because the protection they offer is different, your search will include a professional opinion on which of the two you are eligible for, and what strategy will best protect your idea.

Why not just search for myself?

I apply my years of experience in analyzing your invention, and I know what the patent office looks for with regard to the standards of prior art and obviousness.  It's easy to know that a search is unfavorable if it has exactly your invention.  But more often than not, there will be things that have some similarities, as well as some differences with your invention.  That is where you need expert help.

What do I do after my search?

After your search is done, we will send you a complete report including all of the prior art found, as well as a fixed-price, closed-ended quotation for the preparation of an application, if the search turned out favorable.  This will let you know exactly how much the application will cost, with no risk on your part, as well as how much you can expect to save from your search fee credit.

How do I get started?

You can either contact us to request a free information kit and search forms, or click here to get a printable copy of all the forms you need to mail in to begin your search.

What are the fees for a search?

# of Searches Price per search Total cost
Good Value


 Best Value



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For more information on the search process, as well as a copy of the forms you need, click here to get your free copy of How To Obtain A Patent

How To Obtain A Patent