Why Prior Art Search is Required?

Why Prior Art Search is Required?

Patents are lawful rights that allow patentees to exclude other entities from manufacturing or marketing the invention without their approval. Because of this benefit of patents, inventors are always ready to secure patents by filing patent applications.

However, before filing these applications, they must complete a thorough prior art search to confirm their invention is patent-worthy.

If you have to understand prior art searches, you have landed on the right page, and it covers every crucial point about prior art searches.

What is Prior Art?

Prior art is any scientific and technical information that exists before your invention. It includes any article, press release, technical publication, product information brochure, newspaper article, book, or patent. It has become an absolute part of any trade that deals with several innovative technologies.

It is a tool that tells us about a similar invention already in use and proves that your creation is well-known and not unique.

For successful patent filing, a comprehensive prior art search is necessary.

Types of Prior Art Searches

  1. Novelty Searches

    Before filing a patent application, a novelty search is performed to specify the invention as a novel before the inventor commits the resources essential to acquire a patent. Performing this search before filing a patent application helps to confirm that the application will not be denied.

  2. Validity Searches

    A validity search is performed and is helpful for competitors looking forward to checking or challenging the validity of a patent.

  3. Clearance Searches

    A clearance search sees if the product is infringing upon the patent ones. This search is known as the freedom to operate search, which further assures that you possess the liberty to sell your products.

Need of a prior art search

Prior art searches are needed to verify published patent applications and conference presentations that implicitly or explicitly reveal the invention under study. It is always advisable to conduct prior art searches before drafting or filing an application for a patent.

Wondering how much drafting, filing, and carrying a patent would cost you in various jurisdictions?

So, it is good to conduct a prior art search yourself or hire a professional before the beginning of the patenting procedure. Based on the prior art search results, the novel and innovative features of the invention can be figured out, and a decision on whether to file for a patent or not can be made.

A prior art search is like a due conscientiousness exercise that modifies the risk of refusal of the patent application.

Thus, the benefits of executing a prior art search can be outlined in two points:

  1. It saves resources in filings and prosecution proceedings if the invention is not exclusive, permitting R&D centres to use their budgets.
  2. The prior art search allows us to find the closest prior arts and describes the scope of protection present in patent claims. Even prosecution time can get decreased due to the need for fewer office actions and claim amendments.

How to Conduct a Prior Art Search?

An investor can search by himself or by hiring a legal professional. A search can be conducted by visiting the official website and searching the databases. The inventor can also hire a legal professional if has no idea about executing a prior-art search.

A legal professional will execute a comprehensive patent search, allowing you to make a decision. The role of a patent attorney becomes vital in choosing patentability and designing a patent strategy.

Steps Involved in Prior art Search

Step 1: Specifying Key Concepts to Develop Search Strategy

The first step in a prior art search includes acquiring a strategy to perform the search. In this step, various keywords, synonyms and variations of search keywords, citations, dates, assignees, and technology classes are determined.

Following this, the search strategies include searching for a patent, invention disclosures, or even products.

Step 2: Drafting Search Queries

Search queries capture the essence of an invention’s concept. These search queries are put through several free databases like Google Patents, the Lens, Space Net, etc. Likewise, paid databases like Derwent Innovation, Questel Orbit, etc., are also used.

Different search areas in these databases are used in various combinations to capture results thoroughly while reducing noise from unessential effects. Besides keywords-based fields, classes and citation fields are also used while designing search queries, and this step forms the base for prior art analysis.

Step 3: Beginning the Prior Art Analysis

In prior art analysis, detailed links need to be recognised between the keywords used in prior art searches to find a relationship between the search results and the given invention. After executing the prior art analysis, the results are then screened meticulously. The context of the documents gets analysed and matched with the given invention according to the objectives.

A thorough analysis of the overlaps between the search hits and the innovation within a fixed data set is performed. The step is performed with clear objectives of generating a wholesome picture of the closeness of results with the given invention.

Step 4: Introducing the Prior Art Analysis

The presentation of the analysis is subject to the requirements and the final objective. Prior art analysis is usually shown with required texts extracted from a document discussing the given invention. It can also be in tabular form by checking taxonomy categories for the given innovation. Claim mapping is followed for invalidity and infringement searches.

Finally, prior art analysis presents whether the documents are closely related to the subject invention, and if they are, prior art analysis explains the link.


Prior art search is an essential part of IP Analytics for supporting business intelligence. While prior art searches, developing insights from the most appropriate literature is vital in developing a business strategy. Such insights are taken by intelligently analysing literature through different databases and researching the closest literature to fulfil the end goals.

With our vision for protecting innovations and creativity and the highly skilled staff, we provide the best service. We are certainly the best choice when it comes to finding proper searches. We work on patent applications search, granted and foreign patents search, search on review articles, and so on.

We at PATHtoIP® ensure that every client gets exceptional results with high-quality prior research. As an experienced firm, our highly skilled prior art researchers with flexible work styles deliver results capable of reaching your goals.

Prior Art Search

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