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Dec 28, 2021 D'vorah Graeser

Patent Guide: Ch. 4 Common Mistakes When Filing a Patent

Chapter 4

Mistake 1: Not putting in the time and effort

Remember we talked about you defining your idea. This helps you discover the true potential of your it — what makes it novel and unique.

When you define your idea, you are essentially looking to answer the most important question: is my idea patent-worthy?

If your idea is not completely unique, take the time to refine it and really nail down what makes it novel. Countless applications are rejected each year because of lack of originality!

Next is spending lots of time and effort on your patent search. A thorough search can help you save tremendous amounts of time and money.


How to do a patent search

A patent search involves looking through previously published information to find out if your invention is new and potentially patentable.

Patent searches are part of the body of research that goes into a patent application — the purpose is to find all prior art. Prior art is the publicly available documentation of ideas that might be relevant to your invention. Prior art can include patents, but can also include anything in writing, publicly released products, product demos, public talks, videos - anything that the public can access.

If you want to do a patent search, you can either:

  • Hire professional patent researchers.

  • Do the research yourself

A professional is more likely to find prior art than you and will do so quicker and more efficiently. Be cautious if you do a search yourself - you might miss key information that would be vital to your case. One small mistake can be devastating.

To conduct the research yourself, you can search:

  • The is a good starting point. The Patent Office has granted millions of patents, and its tools allow you to search through records back to 1790. Review patents like your invention and always broaden your search in case you’re looking in the wrong place.

  • Google Patents is fast, free, and easy to use. Keep in mind: there are fewer search fields, which makes it harder to narrow your searches, and some of the most recent patents might not yet be available. Text-searchable patents also go back to 1790, which makes this tool valuable for finding very old prior art.

  • Advanced Google Patent Search for advanced searches. It’s especially useful if you wish to search the patents your competitors hold, by inventor, or specific dates.

  • is a fantastic new patent search tool, developed by us, that uses AI to search for existing patents based on the description of your idea. Our AI uses the description of your idea to find relevant patents to your idea, uncover competitors, and find potential overlaps. This tool gives you a uniqueness score so you can know how new and inventive your idea is. Finally, you can download a report with all the information you discovered.

If you have additional questions or need help with the patent process, click contact us.

Complete transcript available here


Mistake 2: Publishing before filing

Complete transcript available here

There are two problems with publishing your idea before you even file for a patent.

  1. In the US, patents have a published deadline of one year. You can get a patent on a published, or publicly available, idea only if you published no later than 12 months before filing. This even includes publishing pictures on social media!

  2. The more you publish, the more likely your idea is already copied. It is easy to understand why patenting first is so important.

Publishing your idea could be as simple as posting a photo on your Instagram story or mentioning your idea in an innovation forum. Once you make your idea public, even in the subtlest way, the clock begins running on the time you have to file for a patent.

We recommend doing a test application for yourself first. Once it’s done, head over to the USPTO’s site, and check the actual requirements to see if you’re ready to file.


Mistake 3 - Ignoring your business

Complete transcript available here

Your idea is the most instrumental part of your business. Right? And we know you want to focus on improving and developing your product. We get that. 

But don’t worry about pushing your business aside by having to focus your time on the seemingly confusing patent process. We’re here to help you by providing fully supported patent application packages so that you can focus on your business and not lose any valuable time or money in the patent application process.


Wondering if your idea is patentable? Have a question about this article? We can answer all of your questions — just hit "contact us" down below!

Contact Us


  1. What Is a Patent and Why Do You Need One

  2. File Sooner Rather Than Later

  3. How to File a Patent Application

  4. Common Mistakes When Filing a Patent

  5. Your Personal Patent Assessment Toolkit

Published by D'vorah Graeser December 28, 2021