You can check whether your invention has already been invented using the online search system for patents, espacenet.
This database contains approximately 80 million patent documents from around the world in which technical inventions are described. Some skill is required to search this database.
How to search in Espacenet
If you decide to search the patent databases yourself, we advise you to start by searching with words. When you have found relevant documents, you can see which classification codes are assigned. These codes can be used for a specific search strategy. When searching classification codes you will not suffer from differences in languages or vague titles. The codes include all languages and all vocabulary. For more information, you can consult the Espacenet brochure Free access to 80 million patent documents worldwide.
For accurate searches always seek professional advice. Espacenet can give you a useful overview of the state of the art, but if you need an in-depth search, it’s advisable to consult a patent information expert.
We offer help for researchers, inventors and entrepreneurs in the Netherlands with several products and services: a search advice, exploratory searches, appointment with a patent advisor, lectures and workshops (all free of charge).