Worldwide Patent Search
Find out whether you should do a patent search and how to use the results to your advantage.
Many people use patents to protect inventions. A granted patent gives you the right to take legal action against anyone who makes, uses, sells or imports anything covered by your patent’s claims without your permission.
To be granted a patent, your invention must be all of the following:
- Something that can be made or used
- New – anything that has been made public can’t be patented
- Inventive – not just a simple modification to something that exists
A Worldwide Patent Search can help you find details of existing patent applications to check whether anyone else has had a similar idea. It is important to check patent documents from around the world as any application that is identified, regardless of where it was made, could affect your chances of getting a patent granted.
Prior art is any evidence that your invention is already known. Prior art does not need to exist physically or be commercially available.
What the results mean
There are several routes forward following a comprehensive patent search. Ultimately, it will help you make great decisions about your project. Findings may include:
No prior art
If no prior art or issues were discovered, you are more likely to be granted a patent and can develop the invention with more confidence.
Limiting prior art
Similar prior art was found but an opportunity exists to develop your idea and avoid it.
Major prior art
The prior art is so similar to your idea that you choose to stop the project. It’s best to know this at the start and avoid wasting money.
Inspiring prior art
The prior art may inspire you to create an even better product.
Profitable prior art
The prior art may have already been developed into a product that you could now license and sell yourself.
Professional patent search services provide a detailed report and include a consultation to help you decide what to do next.
Innovate experts use their knowledge of the system to uncover results that may otherwise have been missed.
Classification code system
The International Patent Classification (IPC) is a system of symbols for the classification of patents by relevant technology type. Our team know how to use the classification code system to find relevant patents.
Patents are written with specific wording not used commonly elsewhere. A patent research expert knows which words to search for and can identify similar terminology and synonyms to base further investigation around.
At Innovate we use specialist software called Orbit Intelligence by Questel to execute a deep search of the patent databases which include Epo Register, Uspto and worldwide database
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