Skip to main content
Patent Search & Analytics

How to Do a Patentability Search (Beyond the Major Patent Offices)

By August 5, 2020June 3rd, 2021No Comments

Is your invention patentable? To determine the answer, you’ll need to perform a patentability search. Searching databases from the USPTO, EPO, and other major patent offices may not be enough to determine the novelty of your product, process, or technology. There’s a vast amount of non-patent literature that will have an impact on whether or not you decide to pursue a patent.

Broadening Your Patentability Search

A broad patentability search that includes all types of prior art is a critical step in the innovation cycle. Conducting a search that includes not only literature from the major patent offices, but any and all relevant prior art published in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the 148 participating countries in the WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), will help determine if your technology is novel and nonobvious. 

Including non-patent literature in your patent searching process helps innovation teams and business leaders make data-backed decisions based on a variety of sources. If your innovation is patented, having such a thorough search into existing literature strengthens the resulting patent, making it more immune to patent infringement claims and more attractive to investors. 

How to Do a Complete Patentability Search

Searching within existing patents limits your results to patented inventions. This strategy leaves out other prior art that could impact the patentability of your invention. Depending on the timing of your search, you may even miss relevant patent applications, as they aren’t published immediately after they’re filed. 

To reduce your chances of missing important prior art, your patent searching process should include relevant innovations published in a variety of sources. For example, the inventor of a new optical system for a medical device would want to search a variety of relevant sources, such as the International Society for Optics and Photonics journals, papers submitted to the Optical Society of America, and IEEE publications. 

InnovationQ® Plus includes these types of publications within its advanced patent search results. Together with patent literature, they paint a more complete picture of the competitive landscape surrounding your innovation. These insights can help inventors refine their products and present a compelling application for a patent of their own. 

You can also turn to a professional search team for a complete patentability search.