Four Attributes of High-Quality Patent Search
Before assembling a patent application, it’s essential to understand the surrounding patent landscape. That’s why most people conduct a patent search as one of the very first steps. A patent search (specifically a patentability search) surveys past and current patents in order to come to a clearer understanding of how to proceed. Thorough patent search will help determine…
- Likelihood of patent application being approved (verifying whether the invention is novel, useful, and non-obvious.)
- Prospective value of the patent (based on the current technological landscape in the chosen field and how other patents have performed.)
- Possible conflicts that may alert you to patent infringement or competition (to help you position your patent correctly, and minimize maintenance costs to protect your intellectual property.)
Some patent attorneys and IP agents conduct their own research in-house. However, the process of patent search can be arduous and time-consuming. In order to better allocate valuable resources, it’s common to hire a professional patent search company. Before you do, though, it’s important to do your own research on these companies. In the early stages of patent application, confidentiality is of the utmost importance. You also want to ensure that the research is thorough and reliable. How can you make sure that you’re choosing the right patent search company? Here are 4 important attributes of high-quality patent search.
1: Something Always Shows Up During Search
It’s possible that you’ll hire a patent search company (or conduct your own search) and get this response: “We couldn’t find anything similar. It’s completely original. Congratulations!” At first it may seem like good news, but the truth is that it’s probably a sign that the search was incomplete. With the number of patents issued throughout history, there will always be something that relates to your new invention, even if it’s executed differently, occupies a separate market, or even exists in another country. Just like court cases, there’s always a precedent in some form. Finding similar or related patents doesn’t necessarily weaken your likelihood of approval. Instead, it gives you the information you need to understand more about your own patent, and frame your application just right. It may even give you information that will help the inventor further develop the product in order to make it more unique and functional.
2: All Research Is Done In-Country
If an absolute bargain just seems too good to be true, it probably is. In order to cut back on costs, some patent search companies outsource research to offshore employees. This brings up important concerns about security, and may even breach U.S. regulations of commerce and trade. Furthermore, offshore research can suffer major compromises in quality, especially when conducted by those for whom English is a second language. Searching the nuances of patent records requires experience and thorough understanding of common terms and usage. Instead, make sure that you know who is conducting the research and where they are based.
3: Utilization of Numerous Reputable Search Tools
Since the very idea behind patents makes them a matter of public record, it might seem, at first, to be an easy thing to research. After all, can’t you find everything you need on Google Patents or the USPTO’s database?
Firstly, searching these databases is a more complex process than it may seem at first. And secondly, a high-quality patent search will cover much more than what’s available in these common databases. Many patent searchers have their own professional tools that allow them to thoroughly comb all available resources and return reliable information. However, the best patent search options will use numerous reputable tools and search techniques, and have excellent experience and results with everything they use.
4: Reliable Turnaround
When developing and submitting a patent application, time is of the utmost importance. It can be hard to find a balance between getting something taken care of quickly and doing a thorough job. However, an experienced patent search company will be able to give you excellent results on a reasonable schedule. They’ll be able to accurately estimate timelines because they’ve done it before.
Here at Global Patent Solutions, we provide high-quality patent search to numerous IP professionals, and we’ve been doing it for years. Our experienced team of research gurus are all based in the USA, and they’ve been highly trained in proprietary search methods that get results. We understand that thorough patent search is essential for you to make smart decisions about your patent, so we deliver data you can rely on.
To learn more, give us a call at 877.424.9039.