It is important to conduct patent analysis or search before filing an application for a patent. This is so because patent analysis can help determine if the invention is novel or new which is the primary consideration for a patent to be granted.
A patent analysis will identify existing inventions that may block your patent application. The results on a patent analysis can also be used in writing your patent application. A basic patent analysis includes browsing through patents and published patent applications listing in the United States.
A more extensive patent analysis includes patents and patent applications in Europe and Japan, as well as published patent applications through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). Patent professionals, such as registered patent agents and patent attorneys, have access to databases worldwide for patent analysis and patent applications.
For inventors, checking out and conducting patent analysis and search through the USPTO website could be helpful. Basic patent analysis and search can give the inventor an indication if there are many inventions in his or her field. Inventors can still obtain a patent if there are patents similar to their invention; however it is difficult to obtain a patent if there are identical patents to their invention.
It is highly recommended to do patent searches and analysis worldwide, as any published patent or patent application in the world could potentially be used to block the inventor’s patent application.
A reputable law firm, as opposed to a low-cost online shop, has access to databases that include patents and patent applications from the United States, Japan, Europe, and the PCT. A patent analysis will include copies of any important patents and patent application, which can now be provided in either electronic or print format. A reasonably priced law firm charges around $1000 to conduct a basic patent analysis.
The patent searches and analysis comes with discussion with a patent attorney, and electronic copies of the pertinent patents discovered during the patent search. More extensive patent analysis and searches can also be availed of- such as specific technology in various countries around the world. The rate for these advanced patent analysis and searches vary depending on the technology and other factors.
While a patent application can be filed without conducting a patent analysis and search, it is important to discover potential similar patents before filing a patent application. Possible problems that might crop up in the future can be altogether avoided by reviewing similar patents and patent applications beforehand.