"I have an idea. Where do I go from here?"
Great! But before you spend any time or money on your idea, make sure it isn’t already patented or on the market. To help you get started:
- Google. Using keywords, this is a convenient way to quickly narrow or even complete your search.
- If your idea is a consumer product, visit stores. You would be surprised how often versions of seemingly original ideas turn up on store shelves.
Use your institution’s library. Their reference staff can help you do effective, efficient searches, and they have a wealth of databases and other information sources.
- Queen’s University’s Science and Engineering Librarian offers its clients patent search services and workshops on request.
- Do your own patent searching. Try Patent Office databases:
- Public databases:
Note: it is helpful to augment your keyword search by associating it with a category. This category or classification code can be identified from this website: http://www.wipo.int/ipcpub/#refresh=page > click on one of the letters to expand each column and look for codes in each subdirectory.
If you are an institutional inventor, compile the result of your searches in a document and give us a call to discuss. You can view our invention disclosure form here.
If you are a student interested in learning more about innovation and entrepreneurship in general, Queen's Innovation Connector is a good place to start.
If you are a community (i.e. non-institutional) inventor, contact Launch Lab for next steps.