Patentability search FAQs
- What is a Patentability search or a Novelty search?
- What if my idea is already patented?
- Is it mandatory to conduct a Patentability search before filing for patent?
- I found nothing in the market, is a Patentability search still required?
- Is it safe to provide information about my invention to a search company?
A Patentability search also known as Novelty search is primarily a method of identifying prior art references that could affect the novelty of invention. Prior art is basically everything or anything similar to your invention which has been made available to the public anywhere in the world before you conceived the idea. Patentability/ Novelty search conducted by Synoptic IP includes searching documents like granted patent, patent applications, non-patent literature, scientific journals, research papers etc. in more than 100 countries to identify a relevant prior art and other background inventions. If after conducting a patentability search a prior art reference is found which either describes invention completely similar to the once you conceived OR renders your invention obvious to a person having ordinary skills in the art (PHOSITA), there seems no chances for you to get a patent for that invention and makes no sense to move forward.
If your invention is already patented and is available in the public domain before you conceived it, there stand no chance in getting a patent for that invention however, you can work to design around your invention such that it becomes patentable. Patentability search provided by Synoptic IP not just answer in ‘Yes’ OR ‘No’, it also provides you white spaces in your idea which could be used to modify your invention to make it patentable.
If the Novelty search report suggests that your idea is already patented by someone else and is unpatentable due to the lack of novelty element in it, you still have a chance to modify your invention in a learned manner. Novelty search report prepared by Synoptic IP provides some useful information about your invention like the old and new technologies in the similar field which help to design around your invention such that it is new to the world. Not only this, we also work with the inventor to identify possible modifications in the invention to obtain a patent. A thin line difference which is added after reviewing the Novelty search report could act as a game changer to your idea. Apart from this, a novelty search report also help you or a professional patent drafter take learned decision while writing claims of your invention such that it is not rejected during examination process which further save time and money.
Although it is not necessary to conduct a patentability search, it is highly recommended to get a professional novelty search done before filing a patent. It is recommended in most cases because of the huge effort and expense involved in the process of obtaining a patent. It help inventor determine whether others have already staked a claim to that inventive concept or if they are free to go ahead. A novelty search is also important to understand the appropriate scope of invention, without a proper understanding of the prior art it is impossible for a patent drafter to draw up the broadest possible claims.
Most of the times inventor believes that they have conducted enough research on free databases and found nothing similar to their idea. The process is not that simple! A professional using paid tools and patent databases only can provide an adequate and reliable novelty search. A preliminary patentability search by inventor is sufficient to decide whether or not to go for a professional search.
It is not safe to tell anyone about your invention either orally or in a written form before filing a patent. However, for a prior art search it is recommended to ask the company to sign a Non-disclosure agreement with you before exchanging any confidential information. Alternatively, you can ask the search company to provide you guidelines to write a Provisional application, which you can submit in a patent office at nominal fees. Provisional application gives you a priority date as well as extended time to work on your invention.