Much like a business valuation, the quality of intellectual property services varies greatly. When you commission professional intellectual property services to carry out prior art searches, validity searches or patent ability searches, these services must be of sufficient quality to be worthwhile.
If you have an invention that you are interested in patenting, a prior art search needs to be conducted.
First, you need to establish whether any prior art exists. If it does, this will cause your patent application to be rejected. Patent offices are swamped with applications, and a patent examiner may not spend more than a few hours looking for prior art on your invention. If you engage a company to undertake a prior art search, they can establish a reasonable level of certainty that your patent will get approved.
Some companies such as NPEs (non-practicing entities) base their entire business around acquiring intellectual property rights and suing others. These entities are actively looking for mistakes in your portfolio.
Prior art searching also comes into play when you need to establish your freedom to operate. Freedom to operate is a process of making sure that making and selling your invention won’t infringe anyone else’s patent, even though your invention is patented. This could happen if you need to use a manufacturing process patented by someone else to produce your invention.
At IP.com we don’t just implement a prior art search that will clear your patent. We have evolved our technology and practices from traditional keyword-based prior art searching to a more comprehensive method which takes into account the context of patent and non-patent literature. We provide the kind of prior art search, backed up with documentation that will not just answer any legal challenges you face, but deter companies from making challenges to start with.
If your freedom to operate is affected by another patent, a validity search may be the answer. If this blocking patent can be invalidated, you will have a path to your new product and innovations can open up.
A patent validity search should turn up more than just prior art to invalidate a patent. The search should be undertaken to a level of detail and relevance that serves a deterrent to any company searching for targets to pursue infringement litigation.
One of the most complex searches to undertake is a patent landscape report, which assesses new opportunities for research and development. Unless a patent landscape search is done to an extraordinarily high level, it will likely be worthless.
IP.com provides big data solutions to manage and direct your searches and the resulting information. Search data can be accessed by many people in your organization at different levels. IP.com’s advanced technologies and highly experienced staff will make sure your needs are met, and the searches undertaken serve their purpose in the modern business environment and beyond.