At each step of innovation, a lot of ideas may seem to be unique and patentable. Huge investments go into development of new ideas and products. Therefore, a proper assessment of the technology is required to design further research or expansion of existing product lines and prior art searches helps alot in it. When a company spends large amount of time and money in research and development activities, it becomes essential to analyze the novelty and scope of inventions, prior to filing a patent. A quick novelty or patentability search in the technical domain can help make effective business decisions and save several dollars involved in patent filing and maintenance. The purpose is to determine whether there are any previous patents or non-patents (prior art) that might prevent the inventor from patenting his or her idea.
A Patentability search is designed to tell you the likelihood of obtaining a patent on your idea. Although the law does not require that you do a patentability search before filing a patent application, however often a search is the right first step in the patent process. Searching for the novelty of your product is a wise step before you commence its production to ensure that your idea is extremely unique and patentable.
Patentability search can be performed much earlier during the development of an invention, it is more commonly performed prior to submitting a patent application to check the feasibility of the invention.
State-of-the-art patent search is a comprehensive search that provides a general idea about the prior art in a particular field of technology. An extension to the patentability search, this includes searching not only the published patents and applications, but also specific publications in the field of the art. State of the art gives a complete picture of the relevant technology field to determine the direction of research and is therefore, important for the R & D initiatives. It helps to collect information critical for making market decisions and proves indispensable to a company considering entry into a new technology area or development of new products.
At TT Consultants, the team of proffesionals assist several top universities and research institutes, R&D units of top corporations and individual inventors to protect their inventions globally. We conduct novelty searches on leading patent & non-patent databases to uncover the most relevant prior art and make effective decisions about patent filing.
Yes, Patentability search must be done before the filing of a patent because an invention expends a lot of efforts and expenses, so before filing, an inventor must be sure whether others have already staked a claim for that invention.
In addition to above,
The patentability search also gives an idea for an inventor about the scope of the invention;
Help the patent drafter to draft the claim by better understanding of the invention over the prior art;
Applicant can be ready in advance to give answer to the examination rejection which may come during its examination phase.
Also if you want to know the procedure and cost of Patent Filing in India, you can read it here.
The best way to do a patentability search is to carry out searches in professional databases which have worldwide patent coverage. For a good patent search, we need to look into different geographies and how a technology is being practiced there. Though free patent search databases can also help you do a preliminary search to get an idea of where an invention stands but a search on a professional database is highly recommended. Usually, a patent search is performed based on keywords and IPC/CPC/US/ECLA/ F-term classification wherein the professional databases present more options for a detailed search to map out relevant patents such as Assignee based searches, Inventor based searches etc..
Non-patent literature search must be done thoroughly to cover any prior art disclosed earlier. For non-patent literature, many databases are present which are Google Scholar, Sci hub, IEEE, NCBI etc.
The cost of the search depends on firm to firm, and on the search requirements. It may vary from $300 to $2000 or higher depending on the search firm.
One should go for a professional patentability search since the prior art search needs the expertise to carry out the searches and identify the related prior arts. Professional databases require the use of different concepts and variations of the keywords. A good search logic will help to identify a good prior art and a patent research professional can best apply a good logic for performing the prior art searches.
Any search engine cannot claim the invention as it is, they must know the process involved in the invention and Keywords alone doesn't give an idea for the complete method or process of the invention.
If a search engine such as Google, can infer your whole invention by just knowing the Keywords, then the invention is very simple or may not come under the non-obviousness criteria that must be met to get a patent. Even if the invention is simple and it's keywords are enough for a search engine to make a full invention, then it will be difficult for them to judge the complete invention patentable or new.
Further, if one has a fear for the stealing of their invention, then one can go for a provisional application filing before searching on Google. It will give an inventor a one-year window and filing of a patent can be done within this window.