A Patent Search Is A Smart Way To Start
Do you have a brilliant idea for a genius invention? How exciting! The path of the inventor is paved with perilous risks and unimaginable rewards. The challenge of bringing a new invention to market and growing a successful business is no small task. That is why it is critical that you seek every possible protection and ensure that your time and energy are used as wisely and efficiently as possible. It is often said that sometimes the most important decision you will make in business, is which opportunities you choose not to pursue. You don’t want to waste time or money moving toward a dead end, and a patentability search will help you determine if this road is closed or if your patent is there for the taking.
What Is A Patent Search?
There a variety of types of patent searches, each serving a different purpose, performed for different reasons and using methodologies that are appropriate for the given scenario. For inventors wishing to secure intellectual property rights over their inventions, there are three important types of patent searches.
- Patentability: This is the most common type of patent search. Typically the prerequisites for performing this type of patent search are: a) an inventor has come up with an interesting invention; b) the invention applies to a patentable subject matter; the invention is useful and non-obvious; the inventor believes the invention has value that will deliver a return on investment and is therefore worth pursuing intellectual property rights. At this point a “Patentability” search is warranted to determine whether or not the invention has previously been invented. The goal of the search is essentially to try to rule out any potential for obtaining a new patent by finding prior art in the form of issued patents, published patent applications, published accounts of the invention, or the actual invention itself for sale within the jurisdiction where the patent would be sought. If the invention has previously been made public by someone else, and more than a year has passed, then the invention may not be patentable. The idea here is to save an inventor the time and cost associated with pursuing a patent that they will never be able to obtain.
- Freedom To Operate: Also called a “clearance” patent search or an “infringement” search, this type of patent search concentrates on finding roadblocks to bringing an invention to market. These roadblocks could be in the form of patent pending applications or issued patents with claims that could potentially be construed as applicable to your invention. Where a patentability search includes a thorough investigation of non-patent related documents and real world evidence of prior art, a freedom to operate search focuses on existing patents that would be enforceable (issued within 20 years) of the time that the invention would be commercialized.
- Worldwide Patent Search: As the name implies, a worldwide patent search aims to determine in what jurisdictions around the world an invention may be patentable. Whereas a US patent search is limited only to patentability within the United States.
Can I Conduct My Own Patent Search?
Yes. Patent search tools are publicly available and no one is precluded from conducting their own patent search. You are also not legally precluded from self-diagnosing any number of medical conditions. However, unless you are a trained medical professional you simply are not likely to understand what you should actually be looking for. If you spend any time looking into patents, you will quickly realize that proficiency with patent law, deep familiarity with the formatting requirements, significant experience with the available tools and expertise in knowing what types of signs you are looking for are all necessary in order to conduct a meaningful patent search. At Genius Patent, we have decades of experience conducting all types of patent searches with great success. There are good reasons why our clients have over a 90% success rate in getting issued patents and a lot of it starts with the patent search.
Other Than Patentability, Is There Anything Else To Learn From A Patent Search?
Absolutely. A patent search will help you get a clear idea of the scope of patentability. What this means is that by identifying all prior art and existing patents, you will gain a deep understanding of how broadly or narrowly your claims can be when drafting your application. If you find that your invention is in a wide open field, then you will want to claim as much territory as possible by presenting very general claims with broad applications. However, if you find that there are many existing patents and prior art that are closely related to, but not exactly like your invention. Then you will want to focus your drafted claims with a very narrow and focused application to ensure that you are not infringing upon existing patents. This information not only helps you understand the scope of your potential legal rights, but also helps you truly define your market and get a sense for the market potential of your invention.
Patent Search Cost
|U.S. Patentability Search||$625|
|Worldwide Patentability Search||$1,000|