Q: how to see if a design is patent able?
A: Hire an attorney to conduct a prior art search and provide an opinion about whether your design is patentably distinct over the prior art. I recommend you budget about $2,000 for this work. Good luck!
A: As a preliminary step, you may want to do some initial searching using tips from my search slides. http://bit.ly/Patent_Searching You are likely going to want to consult with a patent attorney but I prefer clients that have done some initial searching before they contact me. It is weird that some people seek to start the patent process without ever reading a patent.
You may also want to go through the slides on the more basic issue of protecting your competitive edge. http://bit.ly/Protecting_Advantages
I would not buy a computer without having used one first so I know what sort of features I would want. Same is true for a lawn mower or a dishwasher. Not sure why so many people want to spend a lot of money to chase a patent when they have never seen one.
I hope this helps.
Kevin E Flynn
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