The world is transforming itself from a product-based economy to a knowledge-based economy where knowledge will be a pivotal element in driving the economy of a specific country to its maximum potential. The advent of Intellectual Property regimen and globalization has also contributed a lot in transforming the society to a knowledge society where companies and enterprises can protect their intellectual properties aggressively. However, with increased pace of innovation and increased awareness of its protection, a very big pool of knowledge it comes to defending and protecting your intellectual properties patent searching is something that appears as one of the most effective tools. So, let’s learn about what is a Patent Search, how it affects your business, and what the major patent search types.
A very broad description might be that a patent search is the process by which prior inventions or ideas are examined, with the goal being to find information that bears close similarity to a given patent or proposed invention.
For companies and enterprises dealing with intellectual properties patent search should be the first step in the patent application process. A professional patent search determines whether the time and expense of moving forward with a patent application is a worthwhile endeavor.
Patent Search Types
Depending on the goal and motive of the search it can broadly be divided into following categories:
- Novelty/Patentability Search: For an invention to be granted a patent, it must be new (novel), useful, and nonobvious. A Patentability Search, sometimes called a Patent Novelty Search or simply a Novelty Search, is a search of prior art (the body of pre-existing knowledge) conducted on behalf of a potential patent applicant. A novelty search or Patentability Search is commissioned to ascertain whether a potential invention is novel, or not, by determining whether anyone else publicly disclosed the identical inventive concept prior to its critical date. The step could be considered as one of the first steps in patent application process which determines the fate of an idea or invention.
- Invalidity/Validity/Opposition Search: A Patent Validity Search or Patent Invalidity Search is a type of patent search that is undertaken by law-firms and inventors either to validate the enforceability of a patent’s claims or to invalidate one or more claims of a patent, respectively. These two searches are identical except for the desired outcome (valid or invalid patent claims) of the search. Alternative terminology for these searches includes Validity Patent Search or Invalidity Patent Search.
- Freedom to Operate Search: “Freedom to operate“, abbreviated “FTO”, is usually a kind of patent search undertaken by patent search companies or law firms to determine whether a particular action, such as testing or commercializing a product, can be done without infringing valid intellectual property rights of others.
- Patent Landscape or State of the Art Search: It is an overview of patenting activity in a particular field of technology. The search gives searcher a comprehensive and broad idea about the latest patents and inventions available at that particular domain.
- Chemical Structure Search: Chemical structure search is another important search that is used widely in various aspects of searching patents to discover exact or similar chemical entities for your chemical compound using various authority databases and portals.
- Bio-Sequence Search: A popular kind of patent search which is used to identify & dig out every possible relevant prior reference for DNA, RNA, and Peptide sequences of chemical and biological entities.
- Non-Patent Literature Search: For any type of prior art search, whether it be an FTO search for a particular technology or a patentability search for an invention, databases that contain non-patent or scientific literature are important. This is because a vast amount of technology development is published in scientific journals and in many art areas there is a substantial amount of publication that predates patent literature. PubMed, Isiknowledge, & Comparison, are some of the resources that are used by searchers to do non-patent scientific literature search.
- Markush structure analysis: Chemical structures which are used to indicate group of related chemical compounds, are called Markush Structure. Markush structure analysis is one of the most resource consuming activities of chemical patent examinations.
Also Read: A Complete Guide to Patent Novelty Search
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