Understanding Chemical Structure Patent Searches

Jun 24, 2019

Typically, when people think of patenting something, it’s often a product, something tangible that others can use. But many different things can be patented. A process, such as a new business process can be patented or a formula, such as a recipe, can be patented. There are also some things that can’t be patented, such as a mathematical formula or substance found in nature.

A chemical patent is a patent for a chemical product. Examples of chemical patents that shaped our modern world are penicillin, polyethylene or plastic, and the liquid crystal display or the LCD screens on so many of our technology products today.

Chemical patents, such as pharmaceutical patents that derive from newly discovered chemicals,  are a unique type of patent that we will cover today. Read on for a brief overview of how patent search for chemicals works and why a thorough, professional search is so important.

How Does a Chemical Structure Patent Search Work?

Often when one starts conducting a patent search, they will often think of key words that relate to the product they are inventing. For example, one might type in ‘pool’ into a patent search database if they have an updated or new idea for a pool or pool product. The downside to this is that there may by thousands of patents to look through that have to do with that one keyword. With a chemical patent, it’s even more difficult. Now you have to describe something that can be hard to define by people who aren’t chemists working with complex molecular data and chemistry-based language to see if something similar already exists.

One way to alleviate this is to search utilizing a chemical structure patent search. These special patent searches recognize the names of chemical compounds in patent documents and the structure of drawings embedded in them. This makes it easy for those who are searching for something complex to more easily see if there are iterations of this chemical compound that already exist.

Chemical patents are often used by researchers to protect their discoveries, which last 20 years. In the chemistry world, research publication journals play an important role in the release of new information. According to The Royal Society of Chemistry, some chemists will delay publishing their work in order to prevent others from discovering what they are working on and trying to research it themselves. Having a patent on your idea before you publish it in a chemical journal can be a great way to prevent this from happening.

Why Is a Chemical Structure Patent Search Important?

Research experiments are expensive. Some parts of a research experiment may be funded by a university or corporation, but a lot of the money comes from outside grants. According to Vox, the number of grants that are being accepted is dwindling, making it harder and harder for researchers to find the funding needed for their already costly research processes, supplies, and team salaries. Chemical research is expensive and so are patents. Many universities and companies spend hundreds of thousands of thousands of dollars in research to develop new chemical ideas. If a chemical research idea is worthy of a patent application, that itself could cost even more time and money. Ensuring that your chemical discovery is unique before you spend even more resources on it is of the utmost importance.

Chemical patents are expensive and valuable, so we want to make sure that you go to the best when collecting your information. Global Patent Solutions is experienced in this unique aspect of patent searches and we can help you. Contact us here.



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