Patentability Searches vs. Patent Clearance Searches

The purpose of a patentability searches is to gain an indication as to whether or not a patent claim for an invention is likely to meet the requirements of the patent statute. The purpose of a patent clearance search is to gain an indication as to whether or not exploiting a product in a particular jurisdiction would infringe any enforceable patent rights in that jurisdiction.

Patentability Searches and Patent Clearance Searches: Differences

Patentability Search Patent Clearance Searches
What is to search for? Any publication that describe alone or in combination with other publication, the key-features of invention. Un-lapsed patents that claim one or more features of the invention.
What types of documents are relevant? Any publicly available document including patents and patent applications, journals, brochures, websites etc. Only un-lapsed patents and patent applications.
What jurisdictions to cover? Documents from all jurisdictions are relevant Only those jurisdictions in which the product will be commercially available.
What are the countermeasures to unfavorable search results? Usually a patent attorney may try to design around the claims of the found reference, however this has some limitations. It may be possible to negotiate licenses to use patents located in the search.


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