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How to Patent Search and how is it useful before the Filing of the application

Raksha Tiwari

| Updated: Nov 17, 2018 | Category: IP Rights, Patent Registration

Patent Search

In this article, we will discuss the relevance of patent search in the process of filing a patent registration application. It is always recommended to conduct a patent search before initiating the patent registration process.

Importance of Patent Search before Registration

Before we discuss the importance of patent search we have to understand what patent registration is in the first place. Any new invention including product, any unique method etc. can be protected through Patent registration.

This proves to be an asset for your organization and helps greatly in its growth and development. In case of successful patent registration, it proves to be highly beneficial for the organization as it provides a competitive advantage. In order to ensure that there are no issues faced in the process of patent registration, a patent search is a useful trick. Patent search helps you determine if your invention is patentable or not. Patentability of your invention will depend on the following two factors:

  1. The invention must be new and there are no existing similar patents registered with the authority.
  2. The invention must be inventive, unique and is considered to be an innovative step.

What is a Patent Search?

It is a well-known fact that in order to register an invention as a patent it must be inventive, useful and non-obvious. To determine that your inventions are in compliance with all those requirements it is suggested to conduct a patent search. Under Patent search, a comparative analysis is conducted to make sure that your invention is similar to other registered patents as well as previously filed patent registration application. This patent search is either conducted by the inventor who is making the application or the inventor can also outsource this work to any outside party. The main objective is to find devices or methods similar to your invention that pre-date in a comparison to the subject matter of your application. In order to conduct a proper patent search, you are required to inspect all the available public disclosures relating to registered patents.

How to find Information Relating to already Granted Payment applications?

In order to conduct a patent search, you are required to inspect all available published data relating to

  • All the registered patents as well as
  • All the patent registration applications filed till date.

You can first and foremost conduct a patent search on the official website. However, that is not the only way available. More information is published by the department on its official website every Friday in the form of Patent Office journal. This patent office journal is available on the official portal www.ipindia.nic.in in the electronic form. This journal can be accessed free of cost by anyone on the IP India website.

Following details are included in such patent office journal;

  1. All the information relating to r=fresh patent registration applications received under Section 11A of Patent Act, 1970.
  2. Information relating to freshly granted patent registrations.
  3. Information relating to any restored patents
  4. Notifications and public notices issued by the department
  5. List of non-operating patents

Reasons why Patent Search is useful

If you are planning to apply for patent registration then it is always recommended that you conduct a patent search before initiating the process. As one spends a lot of hard work, patience along with the monetary value in the development of such inventions it is wise to conduct the patent search to add weight to your patent registration application.

Following is a list of reasons advocating the need of patent search before initiating the process of patent registration application:

  1. Better quality patent registration application

A comprehensive patent search report helps you gain an insight into the already registered patents. Any similar patents are reported through the patent search process. You get to know about the chances of registration your application has in actual. If after conducting this search you come to the conclusion that no similar products already exist are registered then you are boasted with a new level of confidence in your application.

  1. Enhanced chances of successful Patent Registration

For approval of a patent registration application, the most important part is the uniqueness of your invention. Conducting a patent search gives you an idea if industry trend and if there are any existing similar patents. If there are any similar patents already in the registry then you have an option to make changes or amendments in the subject of your patent registration. This increases the chances of successful patent registration.

  1. Saves Time and Energy

Patent search gives you a clear idea if there is an existing patent that is similar to what you are planning to register. If there is an existing registered trademark and there is no to very fewer chances that you patent registration application will be approved then it is better to drop the idea. As any filing in such a case will only lead to wasting time and energy. It is always considered to be smart move to know when to let go. This is considered to be the attributes of a smart businessman.

Is Patent Search a Foolproof Solution?

No matter how thorough patent search is conducted, no one can guarantee that it is a foolproof solution for patent registration. There is a possibility that your application for patent registration might be rejected or sent back for clarifications even after conducting a patent search. The reason behind that is the fact that patent search is not perfect. It is possible that a similar patent is registered with different types of keywords and names. This makes the process of patent search futile or highly tedious. Many a time any previous application could have been very similar to yours and it might not be published in any public record. This can result in a total waste of your efforts.

There are many other factors influencing the viability of such patent search reports. But, we cannot rule them out as an irrelevant cost. This gives your patent registration a solid backing and chances of successful patent registration. Patent registration is a tedious process and a lot of time, efforts and dedication are required in the process. Patent search provides a clear idea if your invention is patentable or not. Thus saving a lot of time, effort and money in the process.

Is the Inventor Capable of Conducting a Patent Search by them?

Appointing an expert to conduct a patent search on your behalf is a smart idea as they have extensive knowledge in the area and conduct a patent search in great detail. However, they charge a lot of fees for their services. So the question arises if hiring a professional is actually essential and necessary requirement.

It is recommended that if the inventor is an expert in the field of the concerned invention which will be the subject matter of the application then there is no need to hire a professional to conduct a patent search. In such cases, the inventor has extensive knowledge of the industry and the technology used by their competitors as well as their efforts to improve it. In such given cases the inventors are already aware of the market and industry developments and the patent search reports do not contribute much to the process.

On the other hand, if the related inventions can be easily tracked then also you can conduct the patent search by yourself.

Patent Search is only recommended when you are unaware of all such factors and want to ensure fast and hassle-free patent registration for your invention.

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Raksha Tiwari

Experienced Tax and Corporate Law Professional with 5+ Years of Experience in Corporate Laws, NBFC Advisory and GST Implementation

Business Plan Consultant


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