What is Prior-Art? Why You Should Conduct a Prior-Art Search?


A Prior-art search is a tool that reveals information about a similar invention already in use, to the invention proposed for a patent. The invention can be patented when it meets two criteria which are novelty and non-obviousness. By novelty, it is meant that the technology incorporated in the invention should be new and must not exist.

If the invention does not meet these criteria, your invention will not obtain patent grants. This results in a loss of effort, time, and money. Conducting a prior-art search gives an idea to the inventor of how his invention is different from similar inventions available.

Read HerePatent Drafting for Beginners: Introduction

Why You Should Conduct a Prior-Art Search?

Prior-Art search plays a crucial role during the patent prosecution process. Conducting a prior-art search is not mandatory however it can save the applicant’s time, money and efforts.

A Prior-art search helps the inventor in knowing how his/her invention features novel aspects when compared to the existing prior-arts. Additionally, the inventor can explain better to the examiner how his/her invention differs from the closest prior art.

By conducting a prior-art search, the inventor can decide whether he should proceed forward to file a patent application.

What are the Different Forms of Patent Search?

There are different types of prior-art searches. The inventor can conduct a prior art search depending on the purpose. Let’s take a look at the different forms of prior-art search.

  • Novelty Search – To receive patent grants, an invention should be novel. The purpose behind conducting a novelty search is to ensure that the invention bears some elements of “novelty”.
  • Validity Search – An inventor can conduct a validity search post-patent grant. A validity search challenges the validation of the patent. It takes into account the prior art that might have gone missing during the patent examination. So, a validity search is helpful in patent litigations.
  • Freedom to operate Search – FTO Search ensures that you have the freedom to sell your products. It takes into account whether the product you are selling is not infringing the claims of any patent.

How To Conduct a Prior-Art Search?

An inventor can conduct a patent search either by himself or hire a legal expert. A patent search can be conducted by an inventor by visiting the official website of USPTO and searching the databases. The inventor can hire a legal expert if he/she has no idea about conducting a prior-art search.

A legal expert will conduct a thorough patent search – allowing you to make a sound decision. Additionally, he/she will help you in drafting patent claims that will speed up the patent prosecution cycle. The role of a patent attorney becomes significant when it comes to determining patentability and creating a patent strategy.

Read HereSignificance of Non-Patent Literature Search in IP Industry

Why You Should Choose Patent Drafting Catalyst?

Patent Drafting Catalyst offers a gamut of patent-related services under one roof. Our team of experts ensures high-quality patent drafting services to clients residing around the globe. Patent Drafting Catalyst offers patent search services to help clients in determining the patentability of the invention and ultimately, helping the client in getting the patent grants.

Our team of experts has a deep understanding of the legal aspects that help clients in strategically framing the patent claims while drafting a patent application.

To make an inquiry, contact us on Patent Drafting Catalyst.


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