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Countless new products fill up store shelves every day. At the rate they’re going, one would think that the process of getting them there is a short and easy one. But it’s not.
First, the product is invented. Then it must go through the patent process, which involves application, analysis, and review for approval. Once the patent is approved, the product must endure further scrutiny as it is prototyped, researched, approved, and finally marketed. With so many steps to go through, it’s a wonder any product ever makes it to the public.
A Patent Searcher plays a key role in the process. Patent Searchers assist Lawyers, Patent Analysts, and Patent Agents in getting patents approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Your task as a Patent Searcher is to research published patent applications and granted patents. You look for similar patents to make sure the invention doesn’t already exist.
During legal disputes, you search for patents that may be relevant to the case. Say, for example, an Inventor claims that a new product on the market stole from his or her design. You search for the original patents for both products and present them to the Lawyers involved in the case.
This requires a variety of software and computer skills, an eye for detail, and technical know-how to understand the product aspects and legal jargon on patents. In addition, you need a strong understanding of patent laws, good communication skills, and the ability to work with a variety of personalities. This position opens doors for other jobs in the field, such as Patent Analyst or Patent Agent.