A patent search is the recommended first step in the patent application process. A patent is a considerable investment in time and money, and a patent search serves to help determine whether the time and expense is a worthwhile endeavor.
A patent search is a comprehensive search of issued patents and published patent applications (referred to as ‘prior art’) that are similar to the disclosed invention. The results are presented in a reader friendly report such that the client, and others, can quickly review the findings and gauge the landscape of the invention.
A patent search is very useful for an inventor in determining whether their invention is already out there or has already been patented – thus saving the inventor a lot of time and effort. Not only is a patent search useful for finding what patents and publications are already out there, it is also useful for picking out novelties of a disclosed invention which may render the invention patentable.
The novelty of an invention is what is important to focus on in a patent, as a novelty is what makes the invention different to other similar patents out there. Without a patent search, these novelties would not be known and all the various aspects of the invention would be described in the patent as if they are equally important. This may reduce the likelihood of patentability.
For example, your invention may be a kit including a shoe having a water gun feature and a portable re-loader for the water gun. You think “I’ve never seen a shoe having a water gun feature, it’s definitely not out there” so you risk your chances and waive the patent search. A large investment of time and money later and you find out that there is in fact a patent on a shoe having a water gun feature. The patent doesn’t include a kit comprising a portable re-loader but your patent wasn’t written to focus on that aspect of your invention because it wasn’t known that the kit comprising the portable re-loader was a novelty. Your patent now has less chance of patentability than it would have done if a patent search was conducted at the beginning of the process.
APEX is pleased to offer clients a patent search for $495. Click here to begin your order.