The importance of Search
The journey from the Eureka! moment of an idea, to the grant of a patent can often be a laborious and cost intensive project. Performing good, professional searches prior to preparing and filing patent applications can be an effective way to avoid costly investment decisions, and even improve your application.
- Time and Cost Savings
The lifetime cost of a patent that is filed in multiple countries can easily run upwards of $100k. A good patent search on the forefront can help reduce these costs in the long run. Patent searches are much less expensive than preparing and filing a patent application. It is better to be aware of potential obstacles early on rather than from an examiner during prosecution after significant time, money and resources have been put towards the application.
- The Home Depot Test
When inventors see problems, they create solutions. A key feature of patentability is novelty. It is not uncommon for an inventor to believe that their product idea or improvement is novel if it is not being sold by Home depot (or other retailers). This “Home Depot Test” is not reliable and should not be the basis of making important investment decisions. Every week thousands of patents are issued, and thousands more applications are published. Only a fraction of these will be manufactured and commercialized. A professional patent search can reveal relevant prior art that is crucial to the application process. The prior art can be a useful tool in improving your application. Thorough analysis of the similar or identical patent applications can bring an inventor back to the drawing board to focus on the unique elements of their invention.
- Improve the Patent Application
The information gathered from a search and a patent attorney’s analysis of the results can help improve your invention and focus on what makes it unique. Careful examination of the prior art can help determine which aspects of your invention are most likely to contribute to patentability. Familiarizing with the prior art may also spur ideas for additional inventive features that can be added to the application. This information can also help gauge the scope of the patent claims. If it is necessary to narrow the patent claims, the inventor may decide to discontinue with the preparation and filing of the application and invest their resources and efforts in another invention.
Contact our team to learn more about our expanded Search Service offering.