Anything close to your Invention exists anywhere in the globe in any form?
An invention can be defined broadly in two ways. It may be altogether a new concept or an improvement over an existing product/process. In order to transform the innovation into commerce it’s always recommended to protect the innovation by intellectual property laws in order to create a barrier for unethical competition. The protection can be in the form of a utility patent or an industrial design.
A prior-art search ensures the novelty of your invention.
The necessity of a prior art search can arise at various circumstances.
- At the very stage of conception of an idea
- Midway the innovation process
- During drafting of the patent application
- Before filing the provisional patent application
- Before filing the complete patent application
- When your patent claims face rejections from the patent examiner, to decide whether to proceed with the argument, or abandon the application.
In order to obtain a patent protection, a prospective invention having industrial applicability must be novel, useful, and must not be obvious to a “person ordinarily skilled in the art”. A Patentability or Novelty Search is a search of prior art (existing knowledge at the time an invention seeks patent protection).
A patent protection is limited to a territory or jurisdiction. In other words a patent cannot be protected globally in one go. Every country or jurisdiction treats an invention according to its national law. So in order to avail a patent protection in multiple countries, the patent application needs to be applied in individual countries adhering to the rules of the national law.
Good news is that a patentability or novelty search for an invention is not required to be conducted separately for each country of interest. It’s simply because patentability or patent novelty is not territorial, it’s global. If the knowledge exists anywhere in the world in any form of published or widely witnessed knowledge, at any time in the past, the novelty of an invention is lost.
The relevant prior art documents are wide ranging. They include issued patents, published patent applications, scientific papers, journals, books and research theses, information available in the internet, meeting abstracts, lectures, conference proceedings, traditional knowledge, evidence of prior sale or use encompassing the invention, and prior availability of the knowledge to the public in any form.
A timely patentability search helps the patent drafter to put together a better set of claims that well differentiate the present invention from the prior art, and avoids unnecessary rejections.
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