A patent is one of the most important intellectual property rights and is used for protecting an invention. A patent gives the holder the right to exclude others from using, making, offering for sale or selling the invention throughout, or importing into, the country or region for which the patent is granted, for a maximum period.
But, to get an invention patented it must be new (and inventive). If a similar idea has already been patented, even if the original patent has expired, or has already become part of the public domain that idea is not patentable anymore.
A patent search is an important first step to check novelty and possible conflicting patents. Furthermore the search will find relevant patents that might be used to modify or improve the original invention.
Searching the patent database's effectively, one has to be quite experienced in searching the database's. In that case PatentAgent can assist and could conduct the patent search.