Yesterday, I found out that one of my family members has a new invention. You may hear about it later on this blog, but in the mean time, just for fun, I did a search on the U.S. Patent Office website to see if there are any other inventors in our family. I plugged in a few surnames for my family just to see how the site works. Then, I focused on one surname, Breedlove, knowing from family records that at one time there had been a Breedlove washing machine. The search on the patent site is very broad though, so I just did a Google search for the washing machine and got results that showed up on Patent Storm.
I think I like the Patent Storm site a little better because you can search by surname, which to a genealogist is like waving a red flag. The results after entering the search name Breedlove on Patent Storm brought up 33 hits. Not all of the results are inventors though, it looks like some of them are users of the site. But, it’s interesting to see that Patent Search also includes their geograpical location. I signed up for this site (Free) and I am not entirely happy that my name and location can show up in someone’s search results, but someone could do the same thing just looking in the White Pages online.
There are probably other searchable sites online for patent searches, but today I am just focusing on these two. Here is what the Patent Storm says about its site:
Welcome to PatentStorm
PatentStorm has a new look and new functionality.
PatentStorm offers full-text U.S. patents from the U.S. Patent Office, including advanced patent search capabilities and full image retrieval in handy PDF format. Whether you are an inventor, a patent attorney, a patent agent or just curious about how things work, this site is for you.
Our full-text patent database goes back to 1976, when the U.S. Patent Office began converting its patents to full text. Everything we offer is free.
PatentStorm is a sister company of Storming Media, a Washington, D.C.-based company that makes Pentagon information more accessible, and LegiStorm, which provides transparency to the operations of the U.S. Congress. If you have any ideas about this site or any other comments, please do not hesitate to write us.
While Patent Storm searches back to 1976, the U. S. Patent Office site searches include the capability to search Issued Patents (PatFT) (full-text since 1976, full-page images since 1790) and Published Applications (AppFT) (published since 15 March 2001).
As it turns out, I don’t think any of my Breedlove ancestors invented a washing machine, but I do know from family documents that there was a washing machine with the surname on it.
Drop back by and let me know if you find any inventors in your family! (No, Al Gore did not invent the Internet!)