Presented by
Management Forum

Patentability and State-of-the-Art Searching

A comprehensive and practical two-day seminar covering the key aspects of patentability and state-of-the-art searching.

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  • Format: Bespoke training
  • CPD: 12 hours for your records (depending on your requirements)
  • Certificate of completion

Course overview

The world of patents and state-of-the-art searching can be a minefield if you’re not fully up to date with latest practices and technologies. This practical course will take you through the processes of defining, instigating and completing a state-of-the-art search in relation to patents.

From understanding the range of databases available, choosing a data collection and defining your search scope, right through to completing the search and evaluating the results, the expert trainers will give you all the insights you need to avoid costly pitfalls. They will make sure you are up to date with new technologies and offer guidance on monitoring patent families. This is a must-attend, value-rich event for all those involved in state-of-the-art searching.

Who should attend?

  • All those working in IP or patent information or patent engineer roles either in industry or legal businesses, including:
    • IP managers
    • Patent research specialists and analysts
    • Patent attorneys
  • R&D scientists and engineers wanting to ensure they are not ‘re-inventing the wheel’
  • Customer service and training representatives in the commercial information provider community who want to know more about what their customers do with patent data
  • All those wanting to consolidate and enhance their skills in searching

The Patentability and State-of-the-Art Searching course will cover:

Introduction to searching in the patent literature

  • Searching – process overview
  • The basics of information retrieval
  • The three elements of any search
    • Data quality
    • Technical steps – precision and recall in practice
    • Human skills
  • How patents differ from other technical documents

Choosing a data collection and understanding the range of databases available

  • The impact of search engine or vendor choice
  • Forms of database and the implications for searching
  • The responsibility and skills of the searcher
  • Pre-search briefing and post-search reporting – communication aspects

Background and motivations to patentability searching: extent, timing, caveats

  • Understanding the background to a search
  • Novelty or patentability?
  • Approaches to the search – source-based, concept-based
  • Using secondary and tertiary literature sources
  • Pre-search preparation and maximising efficiency
  • Common pitfalls and how to avoid them

Fundamentals of the search scope

  • Defining a search for universal novelty
  • Searching for (lack of) inventive step
  • Some differences in US practice
  • Overall search protocols – narrowing or widening the scope
  • Methods for searching by subject: text, classifications, citations and text-mining
  • Approaches to multilingual sources: document translation, query translation and abstraction

Background and definition of state-of-the-art searching

  • The differences between state of the art, patentability and landscaping
  • Scoping the request for technology or state-of-the-art analysis
  • Search considerations and planning
  • Setting up alerts for monitoring state of the art
  • Reviewing, iterating, relevancy and categorisation

Practical workshop

  • Analysing and reporting your results
  • Keep up to date with state of the art: monitoring new technologies and patent families

Evaluating search results against the search definition

  • Search iterations
  • Indirect methods for identifying additional prior art: inventor/assignee, technical equivalents
  • Special aspects of searches in different technical fields: chemical, electrical, mechanical
  • Specialist tools in chemistry and life sciences

Overview of distinctions between patentability and validity searching

  • Objectives and outcomes of a validity search
  • Implications for liability
  • Validity challenges
  • Sources for file histories
  • Guidelines for search: reactions, mixtures and formulations

Stephen Adams

Stephen is Director of Magister Ltd, a patents documentation consultancy and training service. He worked in technical information for over 20 years, latterly for nearly 9 years with Zeneca Agrochemicals (now Syngenta) as their principal patent searcher. He is Director-at-Large for PIUG Inc.

More details

Jane List

Jane List has run her own business, Extract Information Limited, providing consultancy, search services, and training, all with a focus on commercial uses of patent information, since January 2013. Prior to this Jane worked on both sides of the information business – the commercial information provider side, in content development, product management, commercial strategy and training roles, and in industry in technology consultancy, and science focused organisations where she was responsible for IP matters, scientific, technical and market information. She teaches on commercial searching including patent landscaping and state of the art searching and reporting in the UK and The Netherlands. She has a BSc, MRSC in Chemistry; MSc in Information Science and Cert. in Intellectual Property Law. She has published papers and spoken at global conferences on patent information matters, and is an active member of PATMG, PIUG and BPIP, professional patent information user groups. In July 2014 she became co-Editor in Chief of ‘World Patent Information Journal’.

More details

Run Patentability and State-of-the-Art Searching Bespoke training for your team

2 days

Typical duration

Pricing from:

  • GBP 800
  • Per attendee
  • Course tailored to your requirements
  • At your choice of location, or online


We don't have any currently scheduled dates for this course but we can customise it to your requirements and deliver it on an in-house basis for any number of your staff or colleagues.

Contact our in-house training expert Aleksandra Beer to discuss your requirements:

Reviews of IPI's Patentability and State-of-the-Art Searching training course

Excellent teachers!

Feb 26 2020

Pilar Navarro
Patent Adviser, CHEMO Laboratorios Liconsa SA

Feb 26 2020

I learned many new things that will be of help to effectively perform searches for my clients. Highly recommended to anyone who's either new to the field or been around for a while already.

Siim Kinnas
Intellectual Property Advisor, Enterprise Estonia

Feb 4 2019

Good content given by knowledgeable speakers.

Juan Manuel Serrano Becerra
Patent Analyst, Umicore

Oct 9 2018

The course was very well run, by two highly experienced speakers, passionate about searching. There were clear explanations given regarding all the elements to consider for carrying out a search optimally as well as practical tips to apply those elements.

Marie Lacombe
Junior Patent Attorney, Yara International ASA

Feb 7 2017

Both speakers were engaging and you could tell they were very knowledgeable in the area.

Lois Scarth
IP Assistant, Wolviston Group Ltd

Feb 7 2017

The speakers were very knowledgeable.

Gang Si
Senior Scientist, Proctor & Gamble Technical Centres Ltd

Feb 7 2017

Both speakers were obviously very knowledgeable in the field of patent searching. The practical session was good as were the examples used and provided.

Michelle Surmacz
Regulatory Affairs Specialist, The Binding Site Group Ltd


  • Abzena plc
  • British American Tobacco
  • Dairy Crest
  • De La Rue plc
  • GCP Applied Technologies
  • Oxford Biomedica
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Procter and Gamble
  • Proctor & Gamble Technical Centres Ltd
  • The Binding Site Group Ltd
  • William Blythe Ltd
  • Wolviston Group Ltd


  • LEO Pharma
  • Novo Nordisk A/S
  • Patrade A/S
  • Terma A/S


  • CHEMO Laboratorios Liconsa SA
  • MTG
  • Torner, Juncosa i Associats, S.L.


  • Umicore
  • Umicore Research & Development


  • Software AG
  • Umicore


  • Pirelli Tyre


  • Yara International ASA


  • Nestlé
  • sophia genetics


  • Belupo d.d.


  • Enterprise Estonia


  • Gemalto.


  • Bic Violex SA


  • NLO


  • AB Tetra Pak

Multiple colleagues?
Talk to one of our training experts to discuss how to:

Run this course conveniently and cost-effectively in-house for your staff and colleagues

Aleksandra BEER
Training expert

+44 (0)20 7749 4749