Prior art search is a key concept in patent prosecution and litigation A prior art search is undertaken to ascertain the novelty of your invention and to understand what is already known about the invention. Prior art covers all information that has been disclosed publicly, in any form and anywhere in the world, before a given date of your invention. It includes not only previously published patents, but also non-patent literature (NPL) i.e. any published material, scientific papers, articles, videos etc.
We believe your ideas need unified, accurate and global search. At TTC, we have the expertise and experience of working on most complex technologies. A combination of patent databases covering more than 120 countries across the globe and a wide range of domain specific non-patent databases, for conducting a comprehensive prior art search. We utilize best strategies to uncover essential information that includes:
A comprehensive prior art search must include both patent search as well as NPL search. Non-patent literature are non-legal documents, available on several internet sources (online) like Google Scholar, Scirus etc. and technology domain specific scientific journals such as PubMed, IP.com, IEEE, ASME, ACM, STN etc. Offline NPL sources include chapters in books, conference proceedings, thesis, dictionaries etc.
Our search reports are provided in a user friendly format with hyperlinks and bookmarks. A thorough and detailed analysis is provided for all references, which includes feature to feature mapping along with a key feature analysis chart - an easy to understand representation of the relevant patents and non-patents.
We have successfully delivered over 10,000+ prior art searches to clients across the globe and have been one of the most trusted vendors for joint defense groups (JDGs).
To know the importance of Prior Art Searches you can check out our latest blog post here.
The prior art can be made on many elements including patents, published patent applications, and non-patent literature. Non-Patent literature may include books, evidence of sale or usage, videos, technical standards, white papers, journals, physical forms and online resources.
The prior art constitution varies among various jurisdictions. For example, the US patent law accepts "your disclosure" if it has been made within a year prior to the patent filing date.
But European patent laws are somehow extreme on that as they don't allow such a grace period to the applicant. It's better you contact your country's copyright and patent authority.
Your patent application goes through the parameters like….
It should not be available in any form before your patent filing date. Although, US patent law grants you a grace year before filing a patent application.
The patent law requires your invention to be useful and industrially applicable.
Your invention must be unique and should not be the modification of any object. It must not look similar to the prior arts.
Since patent filing is an expensive process, make sure your invention is original by doing patentability search. A patent search is useful to know if your invention already exists or is similar to any other invention which already exists. You can explore patent databases and the available resources like books or publications for the same.
Prior art generally includes:
Read invention disclosure and develop understanding of the invention concept. After understanding the invention thoroughly, key features of the invention are identified based on the novel aspect of the invention.
This step includes the selection of the keywords included in a patent application or disclosure of the invention. It is a general trend to include the synonyms of the selected keywords.
On the basis of those keywords, different key strings with variable scope (broad to narrow) are formed in different search fields on patent databases with a global coverage using Orbit, PatBase, Thomson Innovation, Google Patents, Espacenet, PAJ, KIPRIS etc. Further, key strings formed from the selected keywords are used to search on non-patent databases such as Google, IEEE, ACM, Pubmed, etc.
This step includes the selection of relevant classifications (IPC, US, CPC, etc) provided by inventor/examiner in patent application. Classification can also be found in relevant patents shortlisted in Keyword based search. On the basis of those classes, patent examiners search through the public databases (like Google Patents, Espacenet, etc) and paid databases (Orbit, Thomson Innovations, etc) to find the similar patents.
Assignees of the relevant patents are identified and a search with various scope (combination with keywords, classes etc.) is conducted to identify relevant patents associated with these assignees.
Inventors of the relevant patents are identified and a search with various scope (combination with keywords, classes etc.) is conducted to identify relevant patents associated with these inventors.
All the identified relevant patent and non-patent citations are analyzed. If the novel aspect of the invention is present or can be inferred from the identified citations then it is considered as a prior art.
It simply means your patent application can be rejected on the ground of not being unique and already existed. If you still want to patent your invention, then you may change the claims or improve/modify your invention.