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328 Pre-registration search Before you spend time and money filing an application for an industrial design, you may wish to conduct a preliminary search to see what other industrial designs exist. Although no search is exhaustive, a preliminary search will help you determine whether your industrial design is likely to be original. If your design is similar to someone else's registered design, you should be concerned about your possible infringement of their registered design. Also, if your design is not original, you will not be able to register it.
- How to conduct a searchConducting a search is a very complicated and technical process, and conducting an accurate and thorough search can be very difficult. The searcher will have to check for various possible versions of your design. Please remember that no search can be exhaustive. You can hire a lawyer who is a patent agent or a search firm to do a search for you. A lawyer or a search firm has the expertise needed to compare your design to other industrial designs and determine whether your design can be registered.
You can find the name of a lawyer or a registered patent agent on the Legal Line Access Guide or website, or in the Yellow pages of your telephone book.