Patent Search Types: You Must Know


Most firms and inventors don’t know that there are different types of patent searches. All patent search types have different aims. To get the best result, it is essential to know about every search type. We will discuss more insights on all these searches.

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The Patent Search Types to Know About:

In order to conduct a quality patent search you must know the various patent search types. This allows you to prepare more accurate and successful patent applications. Some of the patent search types are:

Novelty Search

It is commonly known as a patentability search. Firms conduct this search to determine the chances of obtaining a patent.  However, It doesn’t inform about any possible infringements. It just decides whether the inventor can invest more time and money on it or not. Also, It informs about the competitors in the same industry.

To start with novelty search, List out all the elements of your invention. Make sure to clearly define the invention. Based on these, Searchers go through the USPTO database to determine the novelty of the patent.

Freedom to operate search

FTO is also known as a clearance search. This search decides if the invention can be used to sell and make profits. The main aim is to prevent any future infringement. FTO searches focus on claims in the patent but it takes a thorough and wide search. It is popular than other patent search types.

One needs a patent searcher and a patent attorney. Searcher lookout for every possible similar product and then Patent attorney examines the search results. The patent attorney goes through the claims thoroughly to prevent any infringement. In case of a similar product, Inventors/Firms usually approach the patent holder for negotiation.

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Non-Infringement opinion

It is partially similar to FTO. Non-Infringement focus on patents that are already present in the market. One must opt for this opinion in case your product is similar or partially similar to any known existing product. Among other patent search types, this one holds a very important value in terms of legal issues.

The process of FTO and non-infringement are quite similar but non-infringement is a narrow search.  Non-infringement opinions minimize damage in case of a lawsuit. However, It is important to hire a reputed patent attorney to perform this search.

Validity Search

 It is conducted in a few cases. In case of an infringement lawsuit, firms/inventors use this search to defend their patent against the infringement.

Firms conduct a validity search before licensing or buying any patent. Investors also use to examine the IP portfolio of any organization.

Non-patent literature search

This is essential for all patent search types. It is important to research as widely as possible. Most of the industrial and technological advancements are published in non-patent literature. Professional searchers go through various scientific journals and sources to conduct a complete search.

Some unique patent search types

Here are some domain specific searches. One need such services in specific types of inventions.

 Chemical structure search

This search plays a role in discovering similar or exact chemical compounds. It goes through portals and authority databases.

Bio-sequence search

This search is used to study previous and relevant Peptide, DNA, and RNA sequences of biological and chemical entities.

Markush structure analysis

 A markush structure is another term for a chemical structure that makes a group of chemical compounds. This search is vital in chemical patent examinations. Also, It is a tough and complex search.

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