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J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library

SS/MGT3650: Patents

Activity #1 - Search for a Specific Patent and Inventor

Start at Locate PatFT (Patents Full-Text database) and use it to search for U.S. patent 6415444.

  • Who is the inventor of this item?
  • Who owned the invention when the patent was issued?
  • When was the patent application filed?
  • When was this patent issued/granted?
  • What is the primary CPC codes for this item?
  • How many claims are in this patent?
  • Does the inventor have any other patents under their name? (Hint: one format for patent name searching is LastName-Firstname$ (e.g. Smith-Jane$)

Activity #2 - Patentability Search Scenario

You've invented a device that will attach to a fishing reel and display how much line is paid out. Using the 6.5 Step Search Strategy, determine of there is anything like this already patented.

Step 1: Describe your invention. Ask yourself:

  • What does it do? What is the end result? 
  • What alternative words/terms describe your invention?

Steps 2-4: Find CPC codes using the terms you brainstormed and verify relevance, then ID subgroups.

  • What CPC codes are relevant to your invention?
  • What subgroups within those CPC codes are related to your invention?

Steps 5-6: Search for patents in PatFT and identify any patents for similar inventions.

  • Are there patented inventions similar to yours already? Which patents are similar?
  • Is your invention novel? Do you think you would be able to patent your invention?


Assignment: Activity #3

You're a busy college student that likes to do big grocery shopping trips instead of many smaller ones. This means you always have a lot of bags to carry. You have an idea for a device that would make it easier to carry more bags comfortably. You come across the Click & Carry product, which is a lot like your idea. Answer the following questions: 

  1. Why should you get more information about this and other similar products before you put any time and $ into developing your idea?
  2. How could you ID a patent for the Click & Carry? (Please provide any patent numbers associated with the product.)
  3. What other similar products have been invented?