Could Your Business Benefit From Legal Patent Searching?

What is Legal Patent Searching?

Legal Patent Searching is crucial in the field of intellectual property law and is typically performed by inventors, businesses, IP lawyers or patent information professionals and patent analysts before filing a new patent application. It’s the process of systematic and thorough searching of existing patents and non-patent literature (NPL) to determine if an invention or innovation is new, and whether it involves an inventive step.

Why is it important?

It’s important to identify existing patents and patent applications by others that cover similar technologies or concepts to avoid infringement or legal disputes. Legal patent searching can also provide information to guide your business decisions about whether to proceed with a patent application, modify your invention to address any potential infringement issues, prepare to challenge a competitor patent or to look at licensing agreements.

What’s the process of legal patent searching?

The process involves using specialised databases, search engines and resources to identify relevant information. Patent offices provide searchable databases and there are commercial patent databases that can also be used.

It’s an essential step in the patenting process to help businesses make informed decisions about gaining patent protection and avoiding infringement and the potentially costly legal ramifications this can lead to.

In short, legal patent searching is a proactive and strategic practice that can save time, money and legal issues, and contributes overall to informed decision-making for a business.

It’s important for:

  • Assessing patentability
  • Infringement risk mitigation
  • Potential cost reduction
  • Enhancing patent quality
  • Successfully building an IP portfolio
  • Facilitating informed decision-making in licensing agreements

If you need to get fully up to speed with the four different types of patent search to carry out whilst building a successful IP portfolio for your company, join our expert trainer Jane List on our Legal Patent Searching course. She will take you through search theory and patent analysis, as well as the best strategies for executing each type of search and how to best report the results. 

Published on Jan 26, 2024 by Gareth Cartman