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How to find out if your idea has been patented

Innovation in the form of the idea is the first important step towards any invention. While the idea indicates that you have recognized a problem, you need to flush out how the idea can be implemented in order to patent the idea. While ideas are a crucial and important component of the overall creativity puzzle, absent a clear distillation of the idea into a solution, there can be no patent protection and no exclusive rights to the idea itself. Further, patents are for inventions that meet statutory criteria: utility patents, design patents and plant patents. Ideas can be protected through confidentiality agreements, or non-disclosure agreements.