Patent searches can be divided into different types:
These searches are usually conducted to determine if an invention is novel, for example if patent protection is required, and the client would like to save the cost of filing a patent if the idea is possibly already on the market. The searches can be conducted just in one country, or of course several as required. These searches cover a long time span, usually back to 1900 in the case of mechanical inventions
These searches are useful when a client is sued for infringing somebody else’s patent, usually areas are covered that were not covered by the searches of the respective patent office, such as classifications, or of course non-patent literature searches. Often, the patent offices in question only search in certain countries, and it may be worthwhile to extend the searches to countries which were not covered.
If a client wants to market a product, infringement searches are invaluable. These are very extensive searches covering the life of a patent (usually 20 years), but for the US 17 years. The classifications for these searches are chosen with every eventuality in mind. Patent claims are carefully examined to determine if any existing patents are infringed.
These searches provide an overview in a particular field, and usually bring up a fairly large number of cases of interest. They can be tailored to the client’s needs, as of course all other searches.
Computer keyword searches
These are useful if a client suspects that his product has already been patented, they can be reported fairly quickly and are based on keywords in the respective databases, rather than the meticulous manual searching in the other searches mentioned above.
Sometimes it is useful to know which patents have been applied for by competitors, or maybe a client suspect that a competitor has filed a patent application in the field of his interest.
Please contact us for further details.