Before applying for the patent, a patent search is the first thing that is to be done. A patent search’s main purpose is to determine how different an invention is from what already exists.
The patent search provides an idea about the information available in the public domain related to the proposed invention. A patent search will help identify and compare the similar or relevant patent or non-patent document to decide about patentability of the proposed invention.
There are different types of patent search but when we are performing with the purpose of filing patent, it is called as a patentability search. Patentability search is a search of existing patents and other available documents to find out the closest existing things of the proposed invention. This patent literatures and other available documents are referred to as “prior art”.
During patent examination, the patent office will evaluate the proposed invention, mainly patent claims for its novelty, inventive step and industrial application. If it satisfies all, then only patent is allowed. Therefore performing a patent search will help understand the closest prior art and defend or justify any objections raised by the patent office during the examination.
The patent search’s importance is that the inventor/applicant can identify the closest prior art and can determine the patentability of their invention and identify the most differentiating features of their invention in comparison to prior arts.