What do you get when you combine sex with technology? Sex tech, of course! And with it comes new sex inventions that require a patent. But, conducting a US patent search hasn’t been easy. In fact, if you invented a sex tech product, the process of searching existing patents could downright make you blush. Until now, that is. Enter Google to the rescue, digitizing patent records to make it easier to search the patent database.
The In-Person Patent Check
Inventing devices to help improve lovemaking is nothing new. Inventors have been developing them for decades. In fact, that was probably the easiest part compared to the patent search. Inventors and patent attorneys would have to check if the idea was already taken by traveling to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and manually search through the physical files of sex patents in person.
So, rather than face embarrassment by asking the patent office clerk for copies of the relevant patents, patent lawyers and inventors would take the printouts of actual patents and review them elsewhere. With the records missing, other searchers were unable to look at prior art, forcing the USPTO to continually recopy the original documents to replace the files.
To stop documents from going missing, the USPTO implemented a new process. All sex-related patents were moved to an area in the office of the supervisory patent examiner. Patent attorneys, inventors and anyone else searching for a sex tech patent had to report to that office and search the files under the watchful eye of the supervisor.
The New Search for a Sex Tech Patent
When Google upgraded its patent search tool this past July, digitizing the patent records of the United States Patent and Trademark Office had some side benefits for patent lawyers and inventors of sex-related products. Now, they can conduct a US patent search online on their own computer in the privacy of their own home or office.
While an online search also can be conducted at the USPTO, the search results vary greatly from that of Google’s. Try it for yourself by entering the term “sex device” in both search tools. The Google patent search is more relevant to the term, making it easier to do a preliminary search using keywords to get an idea whether a similar invention already exists.
However, inventors should still leave the comprehensive search to patent attorneys or patent services firms. Often times, patent writers use different terms for the same concept, so a more in-depth patent classification search is in order to avoid patent infringement.
Go Further Than Just a Patent
While it’s important to verify patentability of your sex tech invention, it’s only one step in the process to get a new product to market. You’ll want to know the costs of its design, development and production. Plus, you’ll need consumer demographics and resources for manufacturing and distributing your product.
Lonestar Patent Services handles the entire process for getting your idea from concept to market. With our evaluate, develop and launch stages, we streamline the new product development and marketing process, so your product idea becomes a reality quickly and cost-effectively. Contact us today to see how easy it is to get started.