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Come up with search steps that show with a high degree of certainty whether your idea already exists

Image credit: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic (Screenshot: Google.com)

Darko Savic
Darko Savic May 30, 2022
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One of Brainstorming's aspirational goals is to feature only original ideas that haven't yet been implemented or published in the proposed form. Even an idea that is novel at the time of sharing should be archived when someone, somewhere implements it.
What makes finding similar ideas difficult
  • Non-English natives might not know the suitable keywords (synonyms, etc) to find an idea via search engines.
  • The idea could be described in another language.
  • Not knowing where to search. Not everything is listed on google and especially not on the first search results page.
  • what else?
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General comments

Aashi Agarwal
Aashi Agarwal2 years ago
Hi Darko Savic, I work as an Intellectual property rights professional where a large part of my job is to help clients figure out whether their ideas are novel, inventive and hence patentable. I agree that a simple Google search is not comprehensive enough, more often than not. Most of the worthwile ideas and inventions would be backed up by granted patents or pending patent applications. There are a number of free of cost databases such as Google patents, Espacenet, USPTO etc. available to the public where they could carry out searches to look for inventions similar to their own. Having said that, I would like to mention that it requires considerable time and effort to master the art of using these databases.
So, to sum up there is no specific sequence of steps or universal strategy that could tell with high degree of certainty whether your idea already exists. One would need to:
  • Use multiple databases to search for their ideas/inventions
  • Be well versed with different syntax of inputing keywords on these databases
  • Come up with MECE synonyms/keywords to describe their invention
  • Supplement their keywords with names of major players/inventors in the domain
  • Use machine translation feature available of various patent databases for foreign language document
  • Using effective techniques to skim through large datasets to mine relevant piece of information
What I have listed above is a very basic framework that is used by patent searchers all around the world (I have not accounted for a lot of technical nitty gritties). As one practices these steps, they become intuitively better at looking for relevant information among the plethora of information available on the internet.
I hope this is of some help!
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