Often the best method of determining whether or not to proceed with a patent application is to have patentability search performed by a professional searcher. This includes disclosing your invention to me and I will have a professional search completed wherein the searcher will search issued US patents, published US patent applications as well as a limited search of published foreign patents and applications. This search does not include a search of the marketplace or internet searches for versions of your invention currently on sale. While no search can locate every relevant reference, it has been my experience that professional searchers locate a majority of pertinent references and will always locate documents not found by a non-trained searcher.
Once the search is completed, which takes approximately 3-10 business days, I will write a patentability opinion for you. The opinion will provide you with a synopsis of the references located and will suggest what type of patent protection, if any, might be available to you. The search and the opinion will also provide you with additional information as to how you might alter your invention to design around or improve those devices found by the searcher.