A patent search is the first and most crucial stage in the process of patent registration in India. A patent search is an analysis to check or decide if the invention is new, useful and, non-obvious by comparing it with the already existing prior arts or public disclosure and non-patent literature. Patent search provides a lot of advantages and benefits to the inventor. There are different databases and search engines available to search for the already existing prior arts or public disclosure or non-patent literature.
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Different ways of performing Patent search
To check the novelty of the invention, a prior art search is conducted in the patent databases. Before conducting a patent search in patent and non-patent literature, the inventor should know the objective of the search strategy or how to perform the search in order to get accurate result. There are different websites and sources for conducting a Patent search. Some of the patent databases are Google patents, Espacenet, and Freepatentsonline.
Patent search is done using different search strategies. They are:
Key string search or Key word search
A key word search is performed by identifying all the key words that define the complete invention. Executing the different keywords on the databases based on the broad and narrow approach will give different prior arts or search results.
Patent classification search
In the patent classification search, patents are classified on the basis of specific technology groupings based on common subject matter. One has to identify one or more classes that are relevant to the invention. Different classification assigned to the patent applications such as CPC, IPC, US patent classification, and European classification (ECLA). The IPC codes can be identified using catchwords that relate to the invention.
Citation based search
A patent document has backward (references cited by the patent document) and forward citations (references cited by current patent document). Citations are references to the prior technology and can be extracted using key string search and patent classification search. Thereafter, analyze the cited documents to uncover more references and find relevant references among the citations to carry out citation search for the relevant patent documents.
Assignee based search
This search is conducted by extracting a list of assignees/applicant names from the relevant databases. Then add the assignee name in the patent databases to gather information about the assignee/applicant who have granted patents for their inventions
Inventor based search
The search involves extracting a list of inventors from the relevant documents and adding query in the database using the inventor’s name.
Benefits of Patent search in India
The benefits of conducting a Patent Search in India are mentioned below:
- To check the availability of the invention, an applicant should conduct a patent search before filing the patent application.
- The first benefit of Patent search is that the inventor will get a clear idea about the technical advantages associated with the invention and scope of the protection.
- Another benefit of the Patent search is that, by looking at the similar Patent results of same technology help the inventor in drafting the Patent application more clearly by differentiating it from the existing technology.
- By conducting a Patent search, the inventor will get an opportunity in improving the inventive concept associated with his invention by comparing it with the closest prior art available, and to increase the chances of getting grant of the Patent.
- Further, conducting a Patent search help in the Research and development process and suppose if the inventor identifies similar technology in the same field with all same features, the research and development work can be stopped in the initial stage rather than spending a lot of money and waste time.
- Another advantage is that conducting a Patent search mainly help the inventor in saving money and time on filing a Patent Application and in the prosecution process.
- Performing a Patent search will provide a clear idea for an inventor the probability of getting grant of an invention.
- Another important factor to conduct the Patent search is to understand the Patent scope of the invention provided by the patent office.
- The main aim for patent search engine is to expose most of the similar inventions. Thus, the benefit of a patent search lies in the uniqueness of the invention.
- The patent search engine result also helps an applicant in knowing and forming a basis of the cost expenditure that he or she is about to invest in his invention.