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BME 417: Capstone Design I

Instructions for finding buisness information, standards and patents related to capstone design projects.

Patents: What They Are and How to Search for Them

Slides from the class lecture 

Magic of Patent Information
An introduction to patents from WIPO.  

Search Strategy (U.S.)

To search for patents by "topic":

  1. Search USPTO Granted and Application Databases by keyword

  2. Note the classes/subsclasses for these patents
    Classes/subclasses for the patent are found on it's front page next to "U.S. Cl." (Example: 273/428)

  3. Look up the classes/subclasses in the Manual of Classification

  4. Read the definitions and explore around that classification area
    • Look for the specific component that you are improving/creating, not the whole product.
      • "Seat" not a "bicycle"  

    • Consider what the component is, not what it's used for.
      • "Straddle seat" rather than a "bicycle seat"

    • Don't forget your engineering basics! Consider how the component works
      • "Refrigeration unit employing gas-liquid contact" rather than an "air-conditioner"

  5. View the patents and applications for the appropriate classes/subclasses
    Click on the red P icon to see patents in that category; click on the blue A icon to see applications in that category.

  6. Do these patents give you other possibilities for the class/subclass?  If so, repeat steps 3-5.

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