Why do a patent search right now?

November 3rd, 2021

Why do a patent search right now?

You’ve googled your idea and come up empty handed…

You tell yourself: ‘Nobody’s done this before.’

… Are you sure? Remember, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Or, as Baroness Karren Brady puts it:

“To begin with, before you spend any more money, you need to do a patent search – just because you’ve never heard of your idea, doesn’t mean you’re the first person to come up with it.”

Innovate has access to commercial databases when conducting a worldwide patent search. From this there are various potential outcomes which is why we at Innovate provide a consultation to establish the next best commercial step for you and your project.

It isn’t all about obstacles though, according to the European Patent Office (EPO), the majority of all patents – around 85% – are no longer in force. The good news here is that a vast number of inventions are available to be used freely.

You’ve got a problem you need to solve

It is widely known that the world patent database is the largest collection of technical information available, and the EPO has the numbers to back this up. In fact, they estimate that:

“Patents contain detailed technical information which often cannot be found anywhere else: up to 80% of current technical knowledge can only be found in patent documents.”

Patent searching is technical 

Patent searches are universally recommended before you develop or try to patent a product. But effective research in this area is a real skill and patent news outlet IPWatchdog explains:

The best and most reliable patent search will be done by a professional that is intimately familiar with both advanced searching techniques and classification systems. If you are not familiar with advanced search techniques and classification you are almost certainly going to miss the most relevant prior art in your own search.”

Time is of the essence 

The UK operates a ‘first to file’ patenting system, so regardless of when someone came up with an idea, the applicant with the earliest application date for an invention will be the one entitled to be granted the patent.

Free professional review

Run your idea past the Innovate team for an initial assessment that is confidential, honest, and free.

We’ll be able to work out the logical next steps with you, and in many cases that would be the commissioning of a patent search, something inventors and businesses across the world choose to do early in the design process.

Don’t just take our word for it:

You can’t look at the competition and say you’re going to do it better. You have to look at the competition and say you’re going to do it differently.” – Steve Jobs