Novelty Search Basics: Things You Should Know


A novelty search or more popularly known as a patentability search is the  first and foremost search conducted to determine whether an invention is novel or not. It is much better to learn about the novelty search basics before preceding further for the patent prosecution process.

What is a Novelty Search or Patentability Search?

A novelty search is done before an inventor files a patent application. Main aim is to find out if the invention is absolutely new, useful and non-obvious according to the Patent Law. Prior-arts help to determine the novelty of an invention.

Inventor can conduct novelty search by himself or hire a patent professional. The objective of this search is to find out if any existing similar patents (prior-art) have same idea to that of the invention. If you think you have an idea or invention that is strikingly important, you should definitely go ahead to find the novelty of it.

This search helps an inventor to confirm whether his invention will be accepted or rejected before applying for a patent application. Also, It saves a lo of time and money.

Also Read: Patent Search Vs Freedom To Operate Search

What is the importance of a Novelty Search?

The quality of a patent can be improved to a greater level if a novelty search is done prior to filing of a patent application. The benefits are as follows:

  • One can widen the scope of claims after gaining information relating to the technology through a novelty search.
  • It helps to preserve the doctrine of equivalents. It is a legal method used by a patent owner to file an infringement claim even though the intended product is not identical to the infringing product.
  • According to USPTO,” Each individual associated with the filing and prosecution of a patent application has a duty of candor and good faith in dealing with the Office, which includes a duty to disclose to the Office all information known to that individual to be material to patentability.” If an applicant fails to comply with, it will lead to cancellation of the patent.
  • Helps in improvement of litigation strength

  This search is beneficial for large firms in the following ways:

  • Novelty Confirmation
  • Value or usefulness confirmation
  • Helps to determine competitiveness
  • Proper use of resources

Reasons for considering a Novelty Search

A novelty search is a time consuming task but it’s totally worth it. The entire procedure for obtaining a patent is quite expensive. Your patent application will be rejected by the Patent Examiner at the Patent Office if he is able to trace similar inventions or prior-arts. Thus an extensive novelty search save you from these hazards.

You may have a unique product which is unavailable in the market. You still need to go ahead and perform a novelty search. This is because patent office holds more patent claims than available market products. Similarity to any existing application is a possibility.

Common Mistakes

Well it is never a mistake to conduct a novelty search before applying for a patent application. But results depend on the execution of the search.

You can do the search on your own but experienced patent professional is more efficient. Novelty Search requires sound knowledge as to what is it, how to perform the search and interpret the search results. So if you have endless time in hand, definitely you can try for it.

Taking help or hiring a patent professional is an expensive process but they come up with best results.Experts pay attention to detail and overlook nothing.

Technically, filing a patent application doesn’t require a novelty search. Mere filling out provisional and non-provisional patent applications is both time and money consuming. So, focus on strong foundation as rejection of a patent application is huge loss.

Also Read: Things to do before Patenting Something

Frequently Asked Questions

When to conduct a novelty search?

Firms prefer it before applying for a patent application or at the time of finalizing the application. One must hire an experienced patent professional for this task.

What information do I need to provide?

If you opt for taking help of a patent professional, you must provide detailed description of the invention, drawings, figures, photographs, and other relevant information. Also, a draft patent application or draft claim set and a corporate invention disclosure form.

What if my invention is similar to a patent?

There is nothing you can do in this scenario. A patent right is always in favor of the first person who has filed the patent.  In some cases, you can still modify your invention such that it appears completely new.

Will I definitely get a patent after the patent search?

No, there is no guarantee of securing a patent just because you have conducted a novelty search. One may not find any prior-art through a novelty search, but there is still non-public prior art on record. This happens because U.S. patents are published after  18 months of patent application filing date.

Looking to hire a professional to conduct novelty search ?

The Patent Search Firm has more than 10 years of experience in the IP field. Our team covers possibly every technical domain. Over 1200+ happy clients in 45+ countries. We go through every database in order to deliver precise results . Also, The clients can check the status of the work at any stage of the process. Moreover, 100 % customer satisfaction is our top priority. To know more, Visit our service page


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