It is generally recommended that a patent search by undertaken of the United States Patent and Trademark Office patent records before the preparation of a patent application. A patent attorney or search organization can conduct a search to determine whether there are any prior patents, covering the same invention, which will be set forth in the prospective patent application. The public search room of the Patent Office is located in Buildings 3 and 4, Crystal City, Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia and the search room is open 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. An inventor or any person can personally conduct the search if he or she so desires.

If the patent search results are encouraging, then the patent attorney will proceed with the preparation of a patent application. If the applicant is particularly knowledgeable of the inventive field it may not be necessary to do with a patent search. Patent Searches are valuable not only to ascertain the scope of the invention but also to obtain a quick research and development file as to what has been done in that particular field.