The legal reasons to undertake a patent search need exhaustivity. Doing this allows producing all relevant literature regarding the patent. This allows determining the legal coverage scope after analyzing claims, protection terms, and other necessary details. The patent searches to determine the legal rights of an invention are highlighted below.
1. Patentability Search
This patent check aims at discovering all relevant prior art that might prohibit you from getting a patent. A patent attorney analyzes the prior art and determines whether to proceed with a patent application meeting novelty requirements and without obviousness.
A patentability search covers granted patents and any patent applications from applicable patent offices. For a thorough search, there’s a need to search for prior art in literature not relating to patents such as school article databases. Also known as a state-of-the-art search, an exhaustive search also describes market analysis without involving patentability.
2. Freedom to Operate Search
Undertaking freedom to operate search determines whether to produce and market your invention in a particular territory with no worry about infringement. You might not plan to get a patent for your invention because of lacking finances. Additionally, the labor process involved might hinder you from getting a patent.
It can also be a desire to avail the technology free to the public. There’s also a chance to get a patent for your invention and while undertaking a patentability search find out that there’s prior art to make getting a patent impossible. A freedom to operate search doesn’t consider patentability but focuses on avoiding infringement. The process involves questioning the disqualification of your invention.
3. Invalidity Search
Also known as the validity search, it aims at determining any erroneous granting of a patent. The person searching seeks to discover any prior art not acknowledged while processing the patent process to make the granted patent disqualified. Doing an invalidity search establishes freedom to operate or allows responding to an infringement suit from a patent owner.
4. Informational and Design Search
A patent search also aims at discovering technical details of an invention apart from legal rights. This happens through the use of classification systems and citations regarding prior art. Additionally, the informational and design search ensures the invention follows trends in business, technology, and history.
However, there’s no exhaustivity when searching informational patent literature. Besides, there’s no formal approach regarding freedom to operate, patentability, and invalidity. Below are the various aspects of an informational and design search.
5. Product Design Search
Everyone involved in the product design process uses patent literature to accomplish the project. The literature includes detailed information that you can’t find easily in scholarly and popular sources. Patent literature allows identifying alternative solutions for the patented technology to solve. Additionally, the literature gives a better understanding of how the technology works and how it to use it. It also gives the plan for the technology.
Patent search for design purposes is not acknowledged as a distinct type of search. Many use the freedom to operate of patentability search to represent this search type. The product design each supports creativity, improvising, and flexible functionality for databases.
6. Historical Search
There are various needs to undertake a historical search including determining patent records for a particular invention. Additionally, this patent search also seeks to identify patent records for a particular company or individual. Information from this search determines the appropriate database and strategy for the search.
Factors that influence a historical search include invention patent number, who invented the product, who holds the patent rights, place of patenting, photo of the item, and purpose of the device.
7. Landscape Search
When seeking to determine a particular market or technology, undertaking a landscape search is necessary. The search is a combination of patent searching focusing on a broader technology with other searches for scholarly and trade journals. You can also complement it with market or industry research.
The search aims at gaining insight into developed and yet-to-be-developed technology, identifying market peers and competitors. This search is sometimes known as an exhaustive patentability search that focuses on non-patent literature.
Getting a patent for your invention allows getting a chance to earn from your idea. However, getting a patent is a lengthy process that involves a lot of paperwork. Part of preparing your patent application includes undertaking a patent search. This determines whether there’s the presence of prior art that makes your invention non-patentable. Working with a professional patent attorney allows understanding the most appropriate search for your needs.