What is Patent Search and what importance does it hold?
Before applying for the patent, a patent search is the first thing that is to be done. A patent search’s main purpose is to determine how different an invention is from what already exists.
The patent search provides an idea about the information available in the public domain related to the proposed invention. A patent search will help identify and compare the similar or relevant patent or non-patent document to decide about patentability of the proposed invention.
There are different types of patent search but when we are performing with the purpose of filing patent, it is called as a patentability search. Patentability search is a search of existing patents and other available documents to find out the closest existing things of the proposed invention. This patent literatures and other available documents are referred to as “prior art”.
During patent examination, the patent office will evaluate the proposed invention, mainly patent claims for its novelty, inventive step and industrial application. If it satisfies all, then only patent is allowed. Therefore performing a patent search will help understand the closest prior art and defend or justify any objections raised by the patent office during the examination.
The patent search’s importance is that the inventor/applicant can identify the closest prior art and can determine the patentability of their invention and identify the most differentiating features of their invention in comparison to prior arts.
Benefits of Patent Search
Determining the Scope of Patent
To register a Patent, the person needs to invest time and money. To save time and money, it is advisable to conduct the patent search. From this process, the person who wants to apply for the patent gets an idea if their invention is really a new one or is already exists in public domain.
Provide an idea to eliminate future objections
After filing of patent and, the Patent Office examine the proposed invention for its novelty, inventive step and industrial application. This examination may found some closest prior arts of the proposed invention during the patent search in India. If the patent search is conducted than it is easy to show technical differences in the reply against the cited prior arts.
Patent Specification drafting gets easy
The patent search helps the applicant and the patent agent in drafting the claims and specifications of the patent. This is to ensure that the claimed features of the proposed invention are not overlapping with any prior arts. If the patent search is conducted before, then it is easy to draft the strong specification which can eliminate the chances of overlapping of the invention with prior arts disclosing similar invention.