Searching for patent data

Patentability Search

(Novelty search)

A patentability search, also known as novelty or clearance search, determines whether an invention is likely to be granted a patent. The search involves reviewing various databases and sources of prior art to identify any relevant prior art that could potentially affect the patentability of the invention. The claims of the invention are compared to the identified prior art to determine whether the invention is novel and non-obvious. Unlike a state of the art search, which identifies all relevant prior art in a field, a patentability search is focused on prior art that could affect the patentability of a specific invention. Conducting a patentability search early on can help inventors make informed decisions about pursuing a patent application and potentially adjust their claims to increase the chances of obtaining a granted patent.

Let’s say a company has developed a new process for producing biodegradable plastic from renewable resources. They want to know if their invention is likely to be granted a patent, so they conduct a patentability search.

The company hires a patent attorney to perform the search. The attorney begins by identifying the key features of the invention, such as the specific materials and steps involved in the production process. They then use specialised patent search databases to search for relevant prior art, including patents, patent applications, and scientific publications.

During the search, the attorney identifies several patents and publications related to biodegradable plastics and renewable resources. They review each of these documents to determine how closely they relate to the company’s invention, and whether they could potentially impact its patentability.

Based on the search results, the attorney determines that the company’s invention is likely to be novel and non-obvious, as there are no existing patents or publications that describe the same process for producing biodegradable plastic from renewable resources. The attorney also identifies several areas where the company’s invention differs from prior art, which can help to strengthen the patent application.

Overall, the patentability search gives the company confidence that their invention is likely to be granted a patent and helps them to focus their patent application on the most novel and non-obvious aspects of their invention. The company can then proceed with filing a patent application, and begin the process of obtaining patent protection for their green invention.