inventors since 1974
Patent Search International
PO Box 176
Crownsville, MD 21032
Phone: (410) 987-4511


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The U. S. Department of Commerce’s Patent Office offers these suggestions for inventors:


Many persons believe they can profit from their inventions merely by patenting them. This is a mistake. No one can profit from a patent unless it covers some feature which provides an improvement for which people are willing to pay. You should therefore try to make sure that your invention will provide this kind of advantage before you spend money in trying to patent it.


It may become important for you later to be able to prove the date when you first conceived the idea of your Invention. If you made a written description or drawing or built and tested it, you may also need to prove these facts and dates.


The Scientific Library of the Patent Office contains over 120,000 volumes of scientific and technical books in various languages, about 81,000 bound volumes of periodicals devoted to science and technology, the official journals of foreign patent offices, and over 7,500,000 copies of foreign patents in bound volumes. In many cases there are two sets of foreign patents, one set arranged in numerical order and one set classified according to the classification of the country of origin of the patent.

A search room’s maintained for the benefit of the public in searching and examining the United States patents granted since 1836 arranged according to the Patent Office classification. By searching in these classified patents, it is possible to determine, before actually filing an application, whether an invention has been anticipated by a United States patent, and it is possible to obtain the information contained in the patents relating to any field of endeavor. In the Patent Office, patents are classified into 310 classes and over 64,000 subclasses.

UTILITY PATENTS are granted for inventions or discoveries of any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.

DESIGN PATENTS are granted for the invention of a new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. In this case, the appearance of the article is protected. (This is very seldom suggested).

PLANT PATENTS are granted for the invention or discovery and asexual reproduction of any distinct and new variety of plant other than a tuber- propagated plant, or for a plant found in an uncultivated state.

The terms "PATENT PENDING" and "PATENT APPLIED FOR" are used by manufacturers or sellers of an article to inform the public that bonafide application for a patent on that article is presently on file at the United States Patent & Trademark Office. The law imposes a strict fine on those who use this, or any other intellectual property term, falsely.

A TRADEMARK or SERVICE MARK is granted nationally to manufacturers and merchants for company and product names, slogans, words, symbols, logos, or the combination of feature for a period of time. Trademark and service Marks may be renewed upon their expiration.

COPYRIGHTS are forms of legal protection issued by the United States Library of Congress for specified time periods in various categories of published and nonpublished original works of authorship which includes: literary, dramatic, musical, visual arts, computer software and certain other works.

Because it is desirable to attain the best legal protection in the broadest allowable terms, the Patent Search should be viewed as another research tool along with the technical and marketing considerations of the new product idea. Upon a final examination of all pertinent information, a Registered Patent Attorney or Patent Agent will be retained to draft, file and prosecute the proper legal protection for the idea.




Common Questions Patent Information

"My job is to help thinkers become doers..." Ron Brown, President Patent Search International

I started Patent Search International because I saw that inventors had two needs that weren’t being provided: first, they needed to save money; and second, they had a right to a reliable assessment of their invention without being ripped-off.

"Every inventor really has to have a patent search done, otherwise you risk losing a lot of money. But a lot of inventors don’t know that they don’t have to pay as much to get the job done right. That’s the whole aim of Patent Search International.

"One of the reasons for doing a search is that it’s going to cost the inventor money to file the patent application itself. Now, you can’t get that application fee back after it’s paid, even if it turns out that your idea can’t be patented. One of the big ways we save money for the inventor is by saving that application expense if it’s unnecessary. When we do our research, we know right away whether or not the inventor should go ahead and apply for the patent.

"Another big money-saver in using Patent Search International is that the inventor avoids the middleman. I know of attorneys who charge a minimum of a thousand dollars just for a simple search— and the bad part about it is, they don’t do the search. Some guy in Cleveland or Los Angeles is not going to come all the way back to Washington just to do a search for a thousand bucks. What they do is they get their check and they turn around and write me a check; I do the search and mail it back to them— the guy’s made $800 to mail me a letter. Well, that’s $800 the inventor never needed to spend.

"I’ve also worked with the states attorneys offices to put crooked ‘invention developers’ out of business. The inventor has a right to an honest, affordable search without getting taken for thousands of dollars for phony ‘product development.’

"We have a good turn-around time, roughly seven to ten days. That compares with some companies who take months to do a simple search.

"We really fill a void. The inventor wants a patent search done with fairness and common sense. You’d hope those wouldn’t be so hard to come by, but that’s why we’re here."

Common Questions About Patent Search International

Tell me about Patent Search International

PSI is one of the largest independent patent search organizations in the United States. It was founded in 1974 by Mr. Ronald Brown. Prior to 1985, most of PSI’s work was done for attorneys and businesses.

Mr. Brown, the chief executive officer of PSI, has worked hand-in-hand with states attorneys offices throughout the country to shut down unethical inventor Rip-Off companies. Through this he saw a need to provide honest, inexpensive help to the inventor. Therefore, PSI is now offering its services to the general public.

How do I know PSI wont tell somebody else about my invention

Before you reveal your invention to PSI, you are provided with a signed Statement of Confidentiality and Non- use. This is a legally binding agreement which prevents PSI from revealing your invention to anybody without your permission. In addition, every employee of PSI has signed a state of confidentiality and non-use with regard to any material they come in contact with in the course of their work with PSI.

How much will PSI's Service cost me.

PSI's fee is $250.00 per search which includes both US and foreign patents, and a legal opinion of patentability

Why is a patent search Necessary?

A patent search is the first step in obtaining a patent. The patent attorney bases his patentability opinion on the patent search. If someone else has patented an invention that is similar to yours or, as the patent examiners say, anticipates your invention, then you are not entitled to patent protection. A patent search reveals whether or not such prior anticipation exists and allows the patent attorney to reach an informed conclusion.

What is the reason for the patentability opinion from an independent registered patent attorney?

The patent attorney examines the results of the search conducted by PSI and tells you his opinion on whether or not you are likely to get patent protection. He specializes in patent law and his independent status assures an unbiased judgement.

Are there any costs to me after I pay for the patent search and patentability opinion if the opinion indicates that my idea patentable.


What if my idea is patentable?

If the patentability opinion indicates that you may be entitled to patent protection and you wish to obtain a patent, you will have to pay the Patent Office filing fees and the patent attorney’s fees for filing the application.

Why is patent protection necessary?

If you get a patent on your invention, it prevents anybody or any company from making or selling your invention for 17 years unless you give someone permission to do so. This permission is called licensing. Generally a licensing agreement provides that you will receive a certain amount of money for each unit made or sold by the person you have licensed; this is called royalties.

If I obtain a patent, can PSI help me make money with my invention?

If you obtain a patent, PSI will make a determination as to whether or not it can help you. If we think we can, we will offer our services as your agent in obtaining licensing agreements. Generally all out-of-pocket expenses are paid by PSI, and we charge you a percentage of any royalties you receive. If you don’t get any royalties, PSI doesn’t get paid for acting as your agent.

If I have more questions, what can I do

Send your questions to Mister or Please call PSI at (410) 987-4511 during normal business hours. We will be happy to set up a no-cost, no-obligation appointment for you to come in and talk with us.

What happens if the patent attorney's opinion is that my idea is not patentable?

Then you have spent a small amount of money to know that you cannot obtain protection. If you choose to disclose or manufacture your invention, then anyone can copy it withot4 financial obligation to you.

Patent Information Every Inventor Should Have

As long as an invention is unpatented, even though the inventor is entitled to a patent, anyone can make, use or sell it without the inventor’s permission. Further, there is no provision under present law for temporary protection of an invention.

You don't have to personally go to Washington to apply for a patent.

To start patent proceedings, the inventor need only send a disclosure of his invention in the form of a model or sketches and descriptions to the Patent Professional. All correspondence pertaining to an application for patent can be conducted through the mail.

You don't have to wait until you obtain your patent to start selling or producing your invention commercially. You can act with a notice of patent applied for or patent pending.

The terms "patent applied for" and patent pending are used to serve notice These terms are commonly used by inventors and manufacturers to indicate that a patent is pending in the U. S. Patent Office and when the patent issues, infringers may be sued for damages. They have no actual legal force but serve as an effective public warning.

A U.S. patent does not protect your invention in foreign countries It protects it only within the United States and its territories. In order to obtain protection in foreign countries, a separate patent application must be filed in each country in which you wish protection. There are many details unique to various countries to consider. The U. S. Patent Office can help you with information on foreign patents.

Improvements in your Invention can also be patented later. If you make a significant improvement in your invention after you obtain your patent, you should file a new patent application provided the improvement is patentable over the original invention. You shouldn’t hesitate to make changes that will improve your invention. Just inform the Patent Professional as soon as your improvements are perfected so an additional patent can be applied for if advisable.

You can hire others to help perfect your invention without forfeiting your right to the invention. And no one can take your patented invention outside the country, make it there, and then try to reintroduce it in the U. S.