a prior art search of patent literature

Prior Art Search 2023 | Baianat IP

It is advisable for inventors to conduct a prior art search and put into consideration both the technical features and the legal aspects of invention patentability, such as novelty and non-obviousness. 

 

Considering that the patent is not just a technical paper; it is also a legal commitment. Therefore, it’s mandatory to understand IP law specifically.

 

No doubt that you will not be professional as an intellectual property expert, so it’s recommended that you hire an IP firm with a rich experience in patent law as it relates to validity and infringement. 

What is a prior art search?

A prior art search is a wide term used to describe and denote all the information that is already available that proves a patent novelty and originality. For your invention to be patentable, it must meet five primary requirements, patentable subject matter,  utility, novelty,  nonobviousness, and enablement.

 

A Prior art search can include scholarly articles, other patents, conferences presentation, trade publications, and products that already exist, where the patent application will be compared to all the disclosed information to determine its originality and novelty. 

 

The main aim of a prior art search is to prove the patentability of all of the revealed disclosed information. Without a prior art search, will not be able to know whether you can patent your invention or not.

 

There are two prior art search processes, a product search and a patent search. You need to perform both of them before spending money and wasting time on your idea. A Prior art search involved thousands of references and a wide range of strategies and search tools, which made it a lengthy process. You must take into consideration that prior art search is a repeated process, you have to stay updated.

 

Hiring a professional intellectual property company can help you conduct comprehensive research to ensure that everything new in the field can be considered. And also it’s better to leave the legal framework to legal experts.

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Types of Prior Art Search

Prior art searches take four forms:

A novelty search through which you can determine if the invention is novel, and it’s done before filing a patent application.

A validity search Its main purpose is to find out all the prior art search that the patent office neglected. it might be useful to competitors who want to appeal the validity of the obtained patent.

A clearance search is specific for issued patents to see if it violates someone else’s existing or pending patent.

A landscape search is performed when entering a new technology level to understand the lay of the land.

A prior art search of patent literature

The patent literature refers to the official publications known publicly of the patent office of each country, and It may be published in paper or electronic format.

 

Literature search like novelty and validity or invalidity search might include patent documents. Note that novelty searches are obtained for the purpose of filing a patent application, while validity/invalidity searches are obtained to check the validity of a patent or patent application.

 

prior art search of patent literature including patent specification, monographs, patent gazettes,  brochures, patent abstracts, progress reports,  patent index, patent classification tables, catalogues, dictionaries, encyclopaedias, etc.

The difference between prior art search and patentability search

A prior art search will help you determine if your invention already exists or not, while a patentable search helps you determine whether your invention is patentable or not as it reveals the novelty of your invention.

When to process a prior art search

You need to make sure that the value you will gain is more than the effort you will spend while performing the prior art search. Your business goals should be the only factor that drives your intellectual property strategy and hence the decision you take.

 

Prior art search is conducted with a focus on the technical features of the invention and its legal aspect as well as patentability. A patent is not just a technical paper but a legal commitment too, which required technical familiarity while conducting a prior art search and a wide understanding of the intellectual property that’s why it’s recommended to hire an IP legal firm while conducting a prior art search.

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Prior art search benefits

  1. Avoid rejecting your patent application because it’s not patentable
  2. Determine your invention novelty
  3. Help you understand how your idea fits into the technological field

 

How is a prior art search done?

Step 1:  Brainstorm the keyword that describes your invention.

Spend some time thinking of keywords which best describe your idea. Most obvious keywords may be unhelpful if you are using a search engine. The most suitable keyword might be a technical term, that you don’t know or it’s changed over time, also different industries might use different keywords for a similar concept, which is another problem that requires you to conduct an extensive keyword search and account for all possible keyword combinations that could exist in the prior art to get the best results.

 

Step 2:  Product Searching

You need to find out what is already on the market whether its similar to your idea (prior art) or 

tackles the same problem (competing art). It recommends using the following patent prior art search tools to kickstart your search of the patent database:

 

  1. Google Patents search
  2. USPTO search interface
  3. Espace (European Patent Office) search interface
  4. WIPO search interface
  5. Patent Lens
  6. CIPO(Canadian Intellectual Property Office)

 

You should also search offline – in shops, books, printed catalogues etc. you should also talk to people with experience in the same field, as they have already seen a wide range of products that your idea might be one of them.

 

Step 3:  Patent searching

The prior art doesn’t only include the existing patents or patent applications; it includes all the publicly available ideas. If you cite the most relevant prior art search results, so the patent examiner has the most relevant references, and it will end up with you having a strong patent. Your prior art search could include:

 

  1. A Google Scholar search 
  2. The product pages of companies who work in the same field
  3. Non-patent literature like articles, journals, publications
  4. Amazon and commercial sites

 

Patent searching involves two skills, Finding any patent document that is relevant to your invention and Interpreting the significance of your patent search findings. And If you find a prior art against your invention its not necessarily invalidate your entire patent.

 

A prior art search could take a few minutes, if your first keywords are accurate and there is a great deal of prior art or many hours, so you need to be prepared to give your prior art search the needed time so you are confident that your idea is novel. 

patent invalidity search

An invalidity search is processed to identify patent and non-patent documents which may impact the claims of a specific patent. which may be useful for licensing or company acquisition as it helps block patents. You need to search through a huge number of patents and literature documents to conduct an invalidity search successfully. 

 

The examination will include an evaluation of the specification text, chemical formulas, figures, tables, etc. Sometimes patent is invalidated after it has been granted, usually, its a reaction to an action taken or threatened by the patentee, such as an infringement action, or a contractual dispute.

What is a prior art example?

A product that was available for sale, publications, printed or electronic journal or publication, or a textbook that gives the idea of an invention can be considered as prior art unless it’s published after the filing date in a revised version.

Baianat services for prior art search

Baianat IP covers hundreds of patent office databases around the world. Our experts at BAianat bring with them decades of patent search experience by which they can help you with:

  • Provide legal services or advice
  • Do a patent prior art search 
  • Determine the patentability of your idea
  • Help you file a patent application

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  • info@baianat-ip.com.sa

 

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