Patentability Search is a search to know if your invention/idea is patentable by searching relevant prior art.
In this Search without understanding of the prior art, it is difficult to draft novel claims with the appropriate scope. The patent attorney may not be able to point out what is novel about an inventive concept without an understanding of the previous work.
Role of Patentability Search
Let us learn the importance of this search and the role it plays in your patent application prosecution.
Patentability Searches locate the prior art that an examiner would have insisted.
The patent drafter can draw up claims that distinguish the present invention from the prior art with such information in hand. This may lead to a better set of claims being allowed at an earlier date.
Thus, the search speeds patent prosecution by allowing claims to be tailored to avoid the prior art before the examiner’s own search.
Before Filing Patent Application
The patentability search is useful prior to preparing and filing a patent application.
Obtained results help to determine whether to pursue patent protection or not. In addition, it may indicate what issues could arise during examination.
Performing a patentability search before filing the patent application is always suggested. Then, you may know if it makes sense to move forward and what protection for your invention could be possibly obtained.
The search helps you to explain your invention in a way that highlights the important differences that exist over the prior art. Also, it helps emphasizing the true novelty of the invention.
It lets the writer of the patent application construct claims. This is to achieve the broadest possible protection without treading on the known prior art.
In others words, the patentability search helps to locate relevant patents and publications. That, in turn, helps the patent attorney/agent writing the claims of the patent application for the invention. Also, to understand the limits of possible protection that could be targeted.
Therefore, it makes good sense to first undertake a patentability search. That is, prior to investing time and money to the preparation and filing of a patent application.
However, it is useful to examine the search process carefully and judicially so that its value and shortcomings can be appreciated.
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