The goal of a patent search is to find information that bears
close similarity to an invention or in some cases a particular
patent. A patent search is the process by which prior
inventions or concepts are examined.
There are actually many different kinds of patent searches.
The documents searched during any kind of a patent search
are basically all the same kind of documents.
The documents searched may include patents, published
patent applications, and non-patent collateral materials,
like websites, product literature, and scientific journals.United States patents and other countries patents are typically searched.
The following is an over view of the different kinds of patent searches that can be preformed. They are listed in the order of most commonly preformed.
Novelty search – If you are an inventor or company wanting to make sure your invention is unique, before spending money on obtaining a patent, you would have a novelty search preformed. By far this is the search most commonly preformed.
Infringement search – If you are a company who would like to produce a product, that you do not necessarily want to patent, but want to make sure that you do not get into litigation with someone else who may have already patented the idea, you would have an infringement search preformed.
Validity search – Two companies are in litigation and one of the companies would like to prove that the other companies patent is invalid, the one company would have a validity search preformed.
State of the Art search – If you are a product developer, inventor or researcher and would like to know of the most recent patents in a particular field, to help you make positive decisions, you would have a state of the art search preformed.