How Can Prior Art Searches Help To Make Better-Informed Decisions

Intellectual properties like patents are one of the vital intangible assets for a business, especially for the ones that sustain due to innovation and invention. Given that the fact that the development of any invention takes up a lot of money and time, it is thus important to protect the inventions by patenting or protecting them.

The prior art includes foreign and domestic patent applications, articles, slideshows, books, issued patents, and many more. A search for prior art allows the user to achieve a better understanding of the prior art state before patent application filing or the introduction of new technology or product in the market. This article will help you to have a general idea about patent clearance searches that can be useful in intellectual property protection and development. Are you interested to know a little bit more about each of the searches? Then continue reading to know them in detail.

1.Patentability Search

A patentability or novelty search is carried out before patent filing to make sure that the invention is absolutely new. By executing a patentability search for prior art, a patent examiner, a patent lawyer, or an inventor can find out if someone has already invented something with a similar idea. If the search result shows that someone has already invented something similar to it, then you can change the ideal of the product or save money by not filing a patent application.

Novelty search assists in knowing the chances of approval of your patent. If the search shows that your patent is novel and follows all patentability criteria, then there is a high chance of your idea getting issued.

Benefits Of Patentability Search For Prior Art

Now that we know what Novelty or Patentability search is let us take a quick look into the importance and benefits of executing such a search.

  • It will assist you in drafting better claims
  • Helps in understanding the invention value of a technology or a product
  • The patent strength is enhanced

2. Freedom To Operate Search

Freedom to operate search allows someone to sell a service or a product without infringing on another party’s patent right. When a patent is granted, it also comes with the right to prevent other people from using this product or technology without your consent. So, FTO (Freedom to Operate) patent search stops anyone else from infringing your patent before introducing it in the market. In other words, Freedom to Operate Search is defined as a due diligence process to identify if any pending or active patent applications might slow down your freedom to operate. For this, a special search needs to be carried out, which is known as FTO analysis or study. The process is vital as it will give you a clear idea about the risk assessment of your patent or chances of the patent getting into a legal suit with another inventor. It also allows you to check the risk management through an infringement clearance search and give you a clear idea about all the licensing needs. Freedom to operate also assists in moving the development of the patent in the correct direction.

Steps To Be Taken If There Is Already A Patent

If there is already an issued patent imposing a threat to your freedom to operate, then you can follow any of the below steps:

  • Contact the issued patent inventor for licensing or selling of the patent
  • Design the product in and around the features of the issued patent
  • Opt for Cross licensing

1.Patent Invalidity Search

The execution of Patent Invalidity or validity search helps to identify the related references. It also questions the patent claim for the enforceability or validity issued by the patent Organizations. Patent Inventors conduct validity searches before buying, asserting, licensing, or selling a patent to confirm the enforceability claims. It also helps the companies to understand whether the patent under legal suit can survive the attack of validity or not. Which ultimately results in taking a well informed, stronger, and negotiating decision. When a patent is filed in a lawsuit against violation, the accused uses the invalidity search result to overthrow and try the patent in the court or through an IPR petition filing. Since the entire lawsuit of patent infringement depends on patent validity, it is significant to prove that the technology or product is not infringing. Thus we can say that a patent invalidity search is an all-out spell to establish the patent validity.

Reasons For Executing Patent Invalidity Search For Prior Art

The reasons for executing a patent invalidity search for Prior art are as follows:

  • When you receive a desist and cease notice from the inventor
  • To discover the patent strength before buying it
  • When you receive a complaint of patent infringement from the inventor
  • Before enforcing own patents to control the invalidity risks
  • For opposing the competitors’ recently issued patent

2. State Of The Art Search

State of the art search can be defined as a comprehensive review of the non-patent or patent literature. Patent Landscape search is a way of assessing the different state of the art and having a clear idea of what is happening through the visual indication.

Reasons For Executing State Of The Art Search For Prior Art

The state of the art search is helpful in situations as below:

  • In determining the correct direction of your patent
  • Before entering a new field through the acquisition or investment
  • To find out what is present in the field
  • Related references for the patent of interest


In this article, we have discovered four different ways of patent searches that are necessary for a successful patent filing. These are all mandatory for a wise investment that helps the big enterprises in the long run. These searches are like an umbrella. You will not always need them. But when you come across a lawsuit against your patent, you will be thankful to have them by your side supporting you.


What do you think?

Written by Edward Flintoff

Our rational property assistance facilities include rational property improvement and sound property management. And by continually surpassing our customers’ expectations, we have placed ourselves as one of the best international intelligence property advising companies and endeavor to consistently deliver the highest value plausible to our customers.


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