Patentability searches and opinions

To assist an inventor in deciding whether a patent application should be filed, a novelty search should be performed at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Such a novelty search includes a review of the records at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to determine whether similar inventions had been patented prior to your invention.

Typically, a novelty search provides an inventor with a very good indication of the type of protection that is likely to be obtained should a patent application be filed. If the novelty search indicates that the prior patents are very close to the new invention, then it may not be advisable to proceed with a patent application as written in article. A novelty search can thus save the inventor the expense of preparing and filing the patent application.

Another type of search which may be recommended is a “state-of-the-art” search. A state-of-the-art search is valuable to a company or private inventor in the development of a product or process. A state-of-the-art search is preferably conducted at an early stage in the development of a product or process and can provide the company or individual inventor with many prior patent references in similar fields. This can reduce the development costs, since it may be possible to adopt publicly available technical information in the expired patents identified in the search.

These prior patents could help solve or avoid technical problems at a minimal cost. In addition, a state-of-the-art search may identify a patent which could potentially be infringed by the product or process being developed by the inventor. If so, knowledge of the potentially infringed patent at an early point in the development may allow the inventor to modify the product or process to avoid infringement at a minimal cost.

Now, a patentee can intervene earlier to prevent an infringer from entering the market. If a product is made outside of the United States and sold outside the United States, then that product will probably not infringe a U.S. patent. For that reason, foreign patents are valuable. Learn more from

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