Patent Search And Analysis


A Patent is granted for new or novel inventions, having unique inventive steps and capable of industrial application. Patenting an invention is a tedious process and so is the creation of invention. Therefore, it is always advisable to go for patent search and analysis to avoid any last-minute hustle. A Patent search is usually done before applying the patentable work to the Registry so that if any discrepancy shows up, the inventor can modify it. A Patent Search is a mechanism of going through patent documents available in the database to check for similar or identical inventions. Also, a Prior art search is conducted in non-patented documents that might have an impact on your invention.

Reasons to conduct search

  • A Patentability Assessment can assist you in understanding the patentability of your invention.
  • A Patent Search reveals the inventions in your field. This may prove to be handy while drafting the patent specification.
  • The Knowledge of Prior Art will help you determine if your invention has any value addition over the prior arts.
  • This may reduce the probabilities of rejection by the Patent and Trademark Office Database.
  • The Patent Search can also reveal certain companies keen on obtaining patents within the field of technology concerning your invention. In those cases, it gives you a good lead about the companies you will have to require to contact to license the invention.

Types of Patent Search

The following are the Patent Searches conducted by Patent Agents and Attorneys

Freedom to operate search – Procedure and usage

Also known as Right to Use Search, Freedom to Operate Search includes a comprehensive and specialized search of the patent literature. This search focuses on the un-expired and published patents. The patent being territorial in nature has limited scope and duration. Hence, it is advisable to have a complete search analysis done before proceeding with the application.

Freedom to operate search can be used in the following ways

  • Mapping technical field
  • To detect infringement
  • Analysis of country-oriented rights
  • Whereabouts of the field and how it works
  • Evaluation of potential activities.

Novelty and Patentability search

This search is conducted to determine if the invention to be patented meets the patentability criteria as laid down by the Indian Patent Act. The Act prescribes three basic patentability criteria- Novelty, Inventive step and industrial application. Novelty Search requires detailing the invention’s features (independent claims) to be described in a single document.

Reasons to conduct Novelty Search

  • Affirmation that the invention to be patented is new
  • Evaluation of the claims of the invention
  • Assessment of the inventive merit of the products
  • The clarity in filing a patent application
  • Analyzing the difference between inventive step and state of art.
  • Prior art search

    Prior Art Search is conducted to determine the status of technology in the given field. Analysis from the various databases is conducted to obtain the required information of all relevant patents and patent applications. This will help the inventors understand the necessity of their invention and the chances of patentability.

    The main purpose of prior art search

    • Identification of state of art of the technology
    • Research and Development idea generation
    • Development of technical solutions
    • Updating of new technology

    Validity/ invalidity search

    This search is conducted after the grant of the patent in order to determine the novelty and inventive step of the invention during the filing of the application. The search results of each search determine the validity of the invention.

    Reasons to perform this search

    • Helps in preparation of patent enforcement
    • Conducted prior to patent licensing
    • Invalidate the patent during infringement suits

    Patent Landscaping

    A Landscaping Report (Also known as mapping report), provides the analysis of patent data which reveals business, scientific and technological trends. They inform policy discussions, strategic research planning, or technology transfer. It provides a crystal view of the patent structure within the organization, or of your competitors. They may also be used to analyze the validity of patents based on data about their legal status.

    Advantages of Patent landscaping

    • Helps the patent applicant to ensure the acceptance/status of their patent; thereby indirectly saving on R&D costs.
    • Helps researchers and scientists to modify/ develop the existing technologies. Helps in tracking licensing opportunities for the business developers to identify the owners of leading technology.
    • Helps the marketing and human resource team to have an insight into what products introduced by the competitors have emerged based on the technological trends.
    • Helps the Executives, high-level strategists, and investors to trace new “areas” for acquisition or investment and helps to develop business policies.

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