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How to Use Web Search Engines to Check The Novelty of Your New Inventions

Now there is an actual strategy that is recommended when you use web search engines to check the potential patentability of new ideas.  Let’s break it down into steps.  In step 1 you state in one or two concise sentences that are phrased as questions about what you are searching for.  For example, let’s say you have an invention that reminds people to take their drugs correctly and on time.  Let’s say that this invention also stores the patient’s compliance information and transmits it to their pharmacist and to their doctor.  So in step 1 you might phrase your questions as follows:

  • What devices or methods are available that remind patients to take their prescription drugs on time?
  • What devices or methods are available that help patients to take their prescription drugs correctly?
  • What devices are out there that record and store prescription drug compliance information?
  • What devices are available that transmit prescription drug compliance information to a pharmacist or to their doctor?

In step 2, underline the main concepts in each phrase.

  • prescription drug reminder devices
  • devices that help patients to take their drugs correctly
  • recording prescription drug compliance information
  • storing prescription drug compliance information
  • transmitting prescription drug compliance information to a doctor
  • transmitting prescription drug compliance information to a pharmacist

In step 3, you want to list any synonyms, alternate spellings and slang phrases for every keyword you are considering n your search. For example, with the prescription drug reminder device idea you might want to include the following phrases in your search:

  • pill reminder devices
  • pill reminders
  • capsule reminder devices
  • capsule reminders
  • drug reminder devices
  • drug reminders
  • drug monitors
  • prescription drug monitors
  • pill monitors
  • pill organizers
  • drug organizers
  • pill dispensers
  • drug dispensers
  • recording prescription drug compliance
  • monitoring prescription drug compliance
  • checking prescription drug compliance
  • prescription drug compliance

Before I discuss step 4, I need to explain the concept of Boolean operators.  Boolean operators are words or symbols that tell search engines what to include, exclude in your internet search.  The following is a description of Boolean operators that you should consider in your search:

When you desire a very broad search you will want to use the Boolean operator OR.  When this operator is used between keywords it tells the search engine to retrieve web pages with any or all of the keywords that are listed. An example of using this operator would be: pill OR drug OR prescription drug OR reminder devices OR drug monitors.

When you want to narrow your search you can use the Boolean operator AND.  Hen this operator is used between keywords it tells the search engine to only retrieve web pages that contain the keywords that are connected by the AND operator.  For example, if you conducted a search for prescription drug AND reminder the search engine would exclude any web pages that only had prescription drug or reminder in them.  Another Boolean operator that you can use interchangeably with AND is the plus sign “+”.

Another Boolean operator that you may want to consider when doing an internet search is AND NOT.  With this operator you are telling the search engine to retrieve web pages for one keyword but not the other.  For example, if you listed pill reminders AND NOT pill organizers in your search, the search engine will retrieve web pages containing pill reminders and exclude any web pages containing pill organizers.   Another Boolean operator that you can use interchangeably with AND NOT is the minus sign “-“

One way to really narrow your internet search results is to place a group of words in double quotes.  For example, if you do a search on “prescription reminder device”, only web pages with the exact sequence of words will be retrieved.

OK.  Now that we have an understanding of Boolean operators, you need to use them to full benefit to optimize your searches using web search engines .  This is step 4. For example, you’ll probably want to use the OR operator to combine keywords with synonyms, variant word forms, slang and misspellings when you do your internet search.  In most cases you want to start out with a broad search and then begin narrowing it a you go along.  To narrow your search you may want to use the AND, +, AND OR or – operators.  To really narrow your search you may want to consider using double quotes.

In summary, it is a good idea to initially use web search engines to check the potential patentability of new ideas.  Once you’ve concluded your internet search and have passed with flying colors, it’s time to check the novelty of your invention with the US Patent Office.  Please check out the explanation of how to do a US patents search in the Inventor’s section in NewBusinessCreator.com or the learning center in IntellectualpProperyStore.com.

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