Each patent application is published by the patent-granting authority approximately 18 months after being filed. A patent is also published as soon as it has been granted. All these publications are included in patent databases and include a wealth of information about the applicants and their innovations. You can leverage this information intelligently for your innovation, product development or business strategy.
The patent applications and patents that have been published in databases include information about the applicant, the inventor, the subject matter, and the invention. But also the documentation from the granting procedure, for example, the novelty report is often included in the databases. This information comes in handy when you have designed an innovation and, on that basis, an examination can be conducted into whether the innovation is patentable, for example. Or, whether it is worthwhile filing a patent application.
The information in the database can also provide insight into new products, technologies or processes being patented. That is handy for innovation or product development, for example. By placing all the information in a timeline, trends can be recognized and potential market opportunities identified. This means the information can also be used to determine the business strategy.
We can assist you with various forms of patent searches, such as:
This type of search – the novelty search or patentability search – is conducted in order to examine whether an innovation is patentable prior to filing a patent application. It provides insight into what is already known about the invention (prior art). This is important because novelty is one of the requirements for patenting. Read more
An infringement search or third-party patent rights search – freedom to operate search– is a broad and comprehensive search providing insight into the question of whether a specific technique can be used. This minimizes the risks of accidently infringing on an existing patent. Infringement searches are often conducted with product or technological developments, just before market introduction, or in due diligence. Read more
A validity search, also called opposition or patent invalidity search, examines the validity and strength of a patent. The purpose is to be able is to contest the validity of the patent as a whole or certain claims in the patent, in particular novelty and inventiveness. Such a search is often conducted in response to an accusation of infringement or when the validity of a patent is in question. Read more
Patent monitoring or patent watch provides insight into patent applications filed, granted, or rejected over a specific period of time. It provides details of the applicant, the subject matter, and the status of patent documents. It allows the monitoring of the activities of specific companies, or all activities within a certain technological domain, without restriction by patent applicants or holders. This enables you to track developments of your competitors or get an idea of new technology. Read more
This type of search is also called IP mapping and it is mainly used to provide direction for a patent or innovation strategy. It is a way to explore a broader area and get an idea of the patent landscape with respect to certain technology, while also providing insight into what competitors are doing and what specializations are on the horizon. Furthermore, landscaping is used during the various phases of an innovation process. Read more
A bibliographic search includes several different searches conducted in various databases based on basic patent data. For example, a name search, a status search, and a family search. Such searches are generally conducted in the exploratory phase, and they provide a wealth of information. Read more
Searches by professionals
Conducting an effective and thorough patent search requires a great deal of specialist knowledge. V.O. has a team of patent information specialists who work together with the patent attorney to address a wide range of questions clients may have about patents. In doing so, they always adhere to the fixed step-by-step plan shown below.
In the video below, Perry Prince shows how a patent search is conducted in practice: