Prior Art Search

Wednesday, November 26, 2014, AM | Leave Comment

Every new invention that comes into existence must be patented eventually. This calls for prior art search, a task that determines the uniqueness of the invention and determines whether it is authentic or not.

Every year, nearly five million trademarks and patents are filed and with a steady rise in this number, it has become crucial for inventors and product owners to file a patent or trademark claim.

Prior Art Search

Especially considering the significance of intellectual property in the past couple of decades, patent owners as well as product inventors have a lot at stake, right from R&D of the product, to planning and covering international market launches for said product and ultimately protecting their inventions.

This calls for a prior art search, that will help to unearth any knowledge regarding the invention/product in question. This knowledge might be regarding industrial knowledge, patent applications, and scientific theses, validity/invalidity/revocation/nullity searches, state of the art FTO, clearance search and infringement analysis.

Armed with this knowledge, an inventor can determine if his idea is indeed unique and unused and can accordingly work on his product or rework on his idea, and thereby the difference between a new (invention) and an already existing idea (prior art) can be determined.

Not just that, but the search enables the inventor to understand the state of his idea, whether such ideas are already in the market, whether there is scope for such a product/idea or whether there should be a drastic change in ideas to invent something different that has a better marketing scope.

The search requires a step-by-step process that usually includes:

  1. Keyword Search

  2. Database/Product Research both online and offline and

  3. Analysis and Interpretation of Search

    Explanation of each process…

  1. Keyword Search involves searching for all possible keywords that best describe your invention/idea.

    An inventor must be ready with a list of all possible word combinations, exclude unnecessary permutations and word-letter combos and keep only those that are best related with your product/idea.

  2. Databases can be both public and private and also online and offline.

    Some free and paid databases can be accessed easily, and archives are filled with information.

    The trick is to perform the search in a scientific and systematic manner using the right keyword combination.

    Also, wherever possible, a search on all patent figures must be covered to figure out if there are any documents similar to the inventor’s.

    Over the internet, one can find information via Google, Yahoo, Bing or other search engines as well.

  3. The final but most vital step is to analyze and then interpret the results that have been found from the search and whether these results adversely affect the inventor’s ideas.

    It is conducive to analyze and understand these results and decide the uniqueness of the invention at hand, because ultimately, that is the key deciding factor.

    Skim through all documents that are least relevant and then one must conduct a thorough analysis of the most important documents that will then help decide and conclude the prior art search of the said invention.

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