The primary benefit of a patentabilty search is that it reduces the likelihood of filing a patent application for an invention that has been previously patented. Applications are time consuming and expensive to produce and a search is an effective way to gauge whether an application should be filed. Another benefit of a search is that it helps to focus the application writing process in a way that avoids prior patents and can help to reduce costs related to the Office Action phase of the application process.
To be patentable, your invention must be novel and non-obvious. Novelty means that your invention is new and different as compared to everything else previously invented. Another patentability requirement is that your invention is not an obvious improvement of an existing invention. For example, converting a three-legged table into a four-legged table is likely an obvious improvement that wouldn’t be patentable.
Prior to filing for a patent, it is often wise to have an attorney perform a patentability search to make sure that your invention meets the above patentability requirements. Click here for more detail about the requirments for patentability. A patentability search typically involves a search of issued patents and published applications. The search may include both U.S. and foreign patents and non-patent sources as is appropriate.
Limits of Effectiveness.
While we make every effort to conduct an exhaustive search, it is never possible to review every source available and would be cost prohibitive to do so. As a result, it is possible that despite a positive result from a patentability search, your patent may be denied by the patent office. In our experience this outcome is rare, but not unheard of.
We also perform other search-related services, including:
- Infringement assessments
- Invalidity assessments
- Freedom to operate assessments
Contact us today to find out how we can help you evaluate the patentability of your invention.