In modern times, patent documents have become one of the most important technical documents that may be used to find information on new research activities. With a good portion of the scientific knowledge, especially the technical advances, being covered by the patent literature, it become pertinent to carry out a patent search while identifying the prior-art documents related to an invention disclosure.
Patent search generally comes into picture to find information relevant to validate novelty of an invention disclosure. For example, any type of invention disclosure requires a thorough search and analysis to verify its novelty. Patent searches helps to determine the novelty of the invention disclosure in view of the existing art.
Some of the reasons modern businesses and organizations invests time and resources to conduct patent searches are:
- Novelty Assessment: It is important to conduct a patent search in order to assess the novelty of the invention. This is based on a simple fact that if someone else has already come up with “your” invention, it’s better to find out early in the process, before you spend money to patent an idea.
- Research and Development: The patent search helps to identify active technology areas. Such patent data is used to promote new directions in research, for finding new uses for existing technologies and to predict growth industries.
- Competition: In today’s fiercely competitive markets, businesses invests a lot to keep that abreast about industry activities. Patent search provides data about research and even marketing activities of the competitors, which in turn could be used to gain competitive advantage
- Financial and Legal Concerns: Organization often commission patent searches to determine the potential infringers of their patents in order to identify opportunities for suing the infringing party or licensing its technology, and thereby gain revenue out of it. In other situations, the companies use such data to avoid potential infringements to stay away from legal troubles.
These are some of the few reasons for illustrating the importance of a patent search. In today’s economy, patent data, and thereby the patent searches, are pivotal for any organization’s growth.