Amazing Patent Searching Techniques and Tools

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What is a Prior Art?

Prior art search refers to the process of finding relevant literature (called prior art) that is available in the public domain before a particular date. While conducting a search the main focus of the researcher is to locate the closest possible prior art related to a particular invention or idea. Thus, the prior art is simply a piece of evidence or proof for the existence of a technology-related inventive concept, available publicly. The exact application, meaning, and concerned date of the prior art are bound by various national patent laws. The most common sources of the prior art are granted patents, published patent applications, and non-patent literature (NPL) such as any published journals, product specifications, whitepapers, books, academic research papers, internet publications, etc. The prior art also includes any documentation of the product, its evidence of sale, or public use. You can also conduct the search yourself only if you know the Different Steps in a Prior Art Search.

Databases for Patent Search

A number of free and paid databases are available where patent searching can be performed. These databases cover a worldwide country scope.

Some paid databases are:

  • Orbit.com
  • Thomson Innovation
  • PatBase
  • Derwent World Patent Index (DWPI)
  • Orbit.com is used for design patent search.

Free Databases include Google Patents and Espacenet.

Several regional/national databases are also used for a country-specific search like:

  • PAJ for Japanese (JP) patents
  • Kipris for Korean (KR) patents
  • AusPat for Australian (AU) patents
  • SIPO/CNPAT for Chinese (CN) patents
  • And so on….
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