For a business to be innovative is not enough: a brilliant invention without a patent is a “kick me” sign to your competitors. Securing patents for your inventions is one of the best ways to protect what you have worked so hard to develop. But before you file a patent application it’s essential to search the prior art, to ensure your invention is novel and not already patented or published.
What Is Prior Art?
Prior art refers to publicly available information that could invalidate a patent application. You could think of it as the “recorded history” of the idea. Prior art may include patents, published patent applications, journal articles, conference papers, trade publications, and any other publicly available information related to the invention. Conducting a thorough prior art search is essential to determine whether an invention is novel and non-obvious.
Why Conduct a Prior Art Search?
A prior art search helps inventors and businesses identify potential obstacles to patentability, such as prior art that could be used to reject the patent application. By conducting a prior art search, you can:
- Evaluate the strength of your invention’s patentability.
- Mitigate possibility of infringing on existing patents.
- Enhance the value of your patent application.
How We Guide You through a Prior Art Search
There are several steps in a prior art search. These include:
Step 1: Define the Scope of the Search
Before conducting a prior art search, we discuss your invention and define its design constraints. It also includes determining the keywords, concepts, and subject matter related to your invention.
Step 2: Conduct the Novelty Search
After defining the design constraints, we use various online patent databases, search engines, and other resources to conduct a class-subclass search. We typically uncover 5 to 12 relevant references which either describe your invention or is similar to your invention.
Step 3: Analyze the Results
After conducting the novelty search, we analyze the uncovered prior art references and provide an analysis to determine if any relevant prior art references could be used to reject your patent application.
A novelty search costs vary depending on the technology.
- Mechanical inventions: $1,500
- Electrical inventions: $1,700
- Software inventions: $2,000
The payment is made up front before the search is conducted.
Typically, scheduling the search into our workload will take about 2 to 3 weeks. However, you can expect the search results in about ten (10) calendar days.
You can have it expedited for a charge.
After we search, we will send you a list of 5 to 12 references related to your invention. In that list, we will pinpoint areas that disclose or are similar to your idea.
After you review the search results, we will conduct a web conference wherein we will review the references and answer any questions you may have about the search results.
A novelty search does not guarantee that you will get a patent. A novelty search attempts to find prior art references that could be used to reject your patent application. However, the process isn’t perfect.
Nevertheless, it is beneficial since finding a prior art reference that discloses your identical invention means you can give up on seeking a patent. You can save your time and money on the next project.
A novelty search answers the question: Can I get a patent on my invention?
A novelty search is not a clearance search.