Patent Search and Opinion

Patent Search

Patent searches are a review of the existing prior art literature for a particular technology. In some instances the searcher consults with a patent examiner for guidance on the field of search. There are several reasons one should consider having a patent search performed. Specifically, one should obtain a patent search for determining:

  • Patentability of an idea or invention
  • Validity of a patent that has already issued
  • Freedom to operate in a particular patent landscape

Patent Search and Opinion

Prior to preparing a patent application, our attorneys and agents typically have a patentability search performed and prepare a patentability opinion for our clients. It is important for someone contemplating seeking patent protection to understand the value of patentability searches and opinions.

The patentability search investigates whether or not an idea is worthy of a patent and may save the cost of a patent application if the idea or invention is found in the prior art literature. The patentability search also supplies information that allows a stronger patent application to be drafted. For example, novel aspects of the invention should be emphasized in the patent application. One cannot emphasize the novel aspects of the invention unless one is aware of the relevant prior art.

A patentability opinion is a professional legal opinion about the likelihood that the invention could receive patent protection. The patentability opinion should also include considerations about the likely scope of a patent that could be obtained. The information in the patentability opinion can be used by the client so that the client can decide whether it is worth proceeding with the preparation, filing, and prosecution of a patent application.

Additionally, a patentability search and opinion leads to more efficient preparation and prosecution of a patent application, because the search and opinion allows the patent drafter to prepare a patent claim set that has the proper scope and accurately represents the contribution made by the invention over the prior art.

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