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Using Google Patents

Patents can be searched for in various ways. The most reliable is the patent number, but if the patent number is not available, one can search by other known information including the name of the inventor, the current assignee, or the description of the invention. In this case, we are going to search by the name of the inventor. Prince R. Nelson. In case you don't recognize the name, he was a pretty famous musician in the 20th and 21st centuries. Go to Google Patents and search. If you happen to know the exact name the patent is registered under, using quotation marks will make finding the patent easier. If not, leave off the quotation marks.


Since I used the quotation marks, we really only get one result. This shows how helpful using quotation marks can be if you know the name of the inventor or assignee can be.


Note that if I did not use the quotations marks, the results look different, but not unmanageable. Notice that the first result in this case, is still the one we want. 



Since Google Patent lays out the patent information in a very wide area, we'll cover the different aspects individually

The Image

On the left side of the screen note the image of the invention (Image 1 below). One can click on the image and open up a box (Image 2) that allows the viewer to examine, the  zoom in and out, and rotate the image.




You will note that there is also a textual description of the device below the image





On the right side of the screen, you should see a text box with a good deal of important information.

Patent Number - The unique number assigned to a patent application when it issues as a patent.

Inventor - One who contributes to the conception of an invention. The patent law of the United States of America requires that the applicant in a patent application must be the inventor.

Current Assignee - The entity that is the recipient of a transfer of a patent application, patent, trademark application or trademark registration from its owner of record (assignor).        

All definitions quoted directly from the USPT0 Glossary

Note the record of events in the processing and approval of the patent. 

Also note that at the top of the text box you are provided options to print the pdf, find prior art, and similar patents.

Finally, note that this patent has expired.



Other information includes a list of other U.S. patents and non-U.S. Patent entities who have cited Prince's patent/invention and also a list of patents that are similar to his.