If you read the previous article in the series, “Are You Ready To Talk To a Patent Agent?”, you know that before you can apply for a provisional patent, you need to do a comprehensive search of the U.S. Patent Office and other U.S. and/or international databases. You can have a patent agent or patent attorney do the search, or you can have a trusted confidant (who won’t take your idea for their own), work with you to complete it.
Prepare yourself, you are very likely to find a similar product, and that is a good thing.
It’s a good thing because it means that someone else has also recognized that there is a problem which requires a solution. Ideally your solution, or some aspect of it, is either better than theirs, or distinctly different, that it is possible to submit a provisional patent application for it.