State-of-the-Art Search

A search can bestow you with your technology’s history and present-day aspects.

The collection of abstract data related to patents or the latest developments in technological areas commences using State-of-the-Art Search in the initial stages. For investors or innovators, it is crucial to understand the shortcomings and effectiveness of the technology they are pursuing. To gather such information, transparency in the specific area of such technology performs a pivotal role.

Comprehensive knowledge and guidance are the results of the Search performed for the particular field of the product. State-of-the-Art Search minimises the burden of analytical aspects related to a specific technological area by offering solutions to the questions pertinent to the Research and Development team or legal terms for a business.

Often termed Landscaping, State-of-the-Art Search is not a broad term; indeed, it is narrower, giving in-depth research reports. Collection Search is another terminology that defines this search methodology because of the usage of prior arts, describing the evolution of existing advancements and the latest versions of technology present.

What is Prior Art?

Confirmation of the existence of any invention is known as Prior Art. Commercialising a particular development is unnecessary to cover it under the domain of Prior Art. It is enough to present that the use of technology similar to your invention is available in records. Hence, there is no specific form depicting the subsistence of an innovation.

The most popular rejection reason for patent applications by the patent authorities is the lack of Prior Art search.

What is Prior Art Search?

Novelty and non-obviousness are the principles determining factors for granting patents to the product.

To discover those principle factors in a particular innovation, several innovators, developers, and organisations participate in the procedure of implementing research known as Prior Art Search. It is a guide that provides the abstract of all existing evaluations and information, without which asserting the facts related to patents is a challenging task.

It will reveal the knowledge persisting before the currently prepared invention. Some percentage of accurateness will grow in the developer’s mind related to the novel and non-obviousness of the development.

Types of Prior Art Search

To find out whether a particular technology was introduced or developed earlier in any form is known as a Prior Art Search. The process or method involved in finding references describing or mentioning your technology. There are four types of criteria through which this Search can take place:


A patentability search is also known as a novelty or non-obviousness Search. This Search helps the inventor or developer determine whether his invention is novel enough to be patentable. Researchers or experts perform this Search specifically before filling out the patent application.


The innovators or organisations often carry out this Search after granting a patent for the product or invention.

Competitors mainly use this search technique for the exploration of any particular dimension. The reason for particularly inspecting a domain is to contest the validity of the patent-granted invention. To find if there is any area not catered by the inventor in the development process or final product, and following it, a dispute can be raised against the validity by the innovators or competitors.

Freedom to Operate

This Search is also available after the patent grant to check the authority to operate freely by manufacturing, developing, and marketing the products.

It is a process of analysing and giving legal opinions focusing on the claims by the patents of the third party. The primary principle of this Search is to find whether any existing patents can violate or limit the industrial use of one’s product.

Patent Landscape

Patent Landscape analysis gives an Overview of a particular technological field, and mainly businesses or developers undertake this process to understand the strength and weaknesses of the specific domain of technology they are entering.

The information available in the public domain is abundant, and identifying its crucial and relevant aspects helps analyse the knowledge in a manner that is useful for strategic decision-making.

Why is a Prior Art Search Required?

Referring to the persisting information in the form of patent and non-patent literature, industrial aspects, and scientific theories gives an overall view of the novelty and uniqueness of the invention at hand. Without referring to the available information in the marketplace, developing or filling the patent application can cost a business or inventor heavily.

There are multiple requirements that Prior Art search can fulfil through different techniques.

  • To Understand the existing State of the Art in the particular field of technology

    The prior art search method delivers the extract of existing developments. In addition, the Search gives information regarding the areas where innovation hasn’t taken place so that potential developers can make developments in a particular sphere of technology.

  • To generate new ideas

    By analysing the existing patents and non-patent documents, one can identify several new ideas in which development is still ongoing or is unavailable. With this, new ideas can make their place in the market.

  • To make the process of patent filing cost-effective

    Rejection or infringement litigations can make getting a patent for your technology a long, tiring, and costly process. To save investments from unnecessary costs, it is crucial to have an extensive search of the existing patents and nonpatent workings.

  • To gather technical solutions to the problems

    Analysing the prior art can gather technical information unavailable in earlier products.

  • To evaluate the technological field.

    New or existing technologies evaluation by referring to the documents available in the public domain gives information that can be useful for potential investors and inventors. Evaluations are necessary to understand the strengths and weaknesses to make fruitful investments in new technologies.

Methods of Prior Art Searching

Keywords Search

Gathering Keywords suitable to your idea to find the most relevant information. Bifurcating the idea into non-obvious or technical words will show you the result according to the subject matter.

Databases search Exhaustively

It is not recommended to search prior art only in officially designated databases. Though they have information related to existing patents, they don’t have the non-patent workings. In such cases, one should refer to journals, research papers, exhibitions and news websites, and several other databases.

Duration and Time-Interval to Conduct the State-of-the-Art Search

The performance of the State-of-the-Art Search is under two possible circumstances.

While entering into the new field of technology

The prior art Search method should be introduced before giving shape to the idea. All the aspects of the new technology shall be analysed thoroughly to the extent that they satisfy your defined purpose.

For Narrowing down the research and development area

When you are researching a particular idea, you’ll encounter various results. Some will benefit your product, and some will be the opposite of your subject matter. In such cases, limiting the available results becomes necessary. At that place, a State-of-the-Art Search comes into the picture.

State-of-the-Art Search is Suitable For?

  • For organisations and inventors that want updates about the new developments in the specific technological field.
  • Organisations preparing for investments in a new area of technology
  • For those who want to know about possible mergers and acquisitions
  • For those who wish to know about the existing and potential competitors

Difference between Patentability Search and State of the Art Search

In the Patentability search, one can determine the chances of an invention getting patentability. In contrast, the State Art Search is performed even before the invention was developed to decide whether or not one should proceed with further development.

Why Choose PATHtoIP® for State of the Art Search

PATHtoIP® servicing policies are curated with thoughtful discussions and extensive research by the team of patent professionals.

Expertise in Prior Art services distinguishes us from competitive companies as we understand the foundational requirements and expectations of organisations, inventors, and developers from the search result.

At PATHtoIP®, we provide customisable State-of-the-Art Search reports based on your present needs and in-depth analysis of large data into an easy-to-read format.

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