What is Patent Search in India?
Benefits of Patent Search in India
- Assessing Novelty: Conducting a patent search allows inventors to ascertain the novelty of their invention by comparing it with existing prior art. If the invention is already known or has been disclosed in a prior patent or publication, it may not be considered novel, which could affect the chances of obtaining a patent.
- Determining Patentability: By analyzing the search results, inventors can evaluate the patentability of their invention. A thorough search helps identify potential obstacles, such as similar inventions or prior art, and provides insights into how to improve the invention to make it more patentable.
- Saving Time and Resources: Patent applications can be time-consuming and expensive. By conducting a patent search upfront, inventors can avoid investing in an application for an invention that lacks novelty or patentability, thereby saving valuable time and resources.
- Avoiding Infringement Issues: Patent searches also help identify existing patents that are relevant to the invention. Understanding the patent rights of others helps inventors avoid potential infringement issues that could lead to costly legal disputes.
- Drafting Stronger Patent Applications: Armed with knowledge about existing prior art, inventors can draft stronger and more focused patent applications. By addressing potential challenges or similarities with existing patents, inventors can present a more compelling case for the patentability of their invention.
- Making Informed Business Decisions: Patent searches provide valuable market intelligence. By understanding existing patented technologies, inventors can make informed decisions about their inventions’ commercial potential and strategize their entry into the market.
- Negotiating Licensing and Collaborations: A comprehensive patent search empowers inventors during licensing negotiations or collaborations. Knowing the patents that exist in the relevant field allows inventors to assess their bargaining power and negotiate more effectively.
Types of Patent Search in India
Validity / Invalidity search
Freedom to operate search
How to Conduct an Indian Patent Search? - Stepwise Process
Step 1: Understanding the Invention
Step 2: Accumulating Relevant Keywords for the Search
Step 3: Selecting the Right Databases
Step 4: Using the Appropriate Search Criteria
Step 5: Analyzing Search Results & Preparing Patentability Report
Step 6: Seeking Professional Assistance
What is Patentability Analysis Report & How Is It Related to Patent Search?
Why is Patent Search in India Crucial for Patent Registration?
Popular Databases for Conducting Patent Search
- Indian Patent Office (IPO) Database: The IPO database is crucial for inventors seeking patent protection in India. It provides access to a vast collection of Indian patents and published applications, helping inventors understand the local patent landscape and identify prior art related to their inventions. Inventors can search for granted patents and published applications filed with the Indian Patent Office here. The database also offers information on patent status and prosecution history, aiding inventors in evaluating the patentability of their inventions and assessing the progress of pending applications.
- World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) PatentScope: WIPO’s PatentScope is a global database that provides access to millions of patent documents from around the world. It is a comprehensive resource for inventors and researchers looking to conduct international patent searches. Inventors can search for international patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), as well as national and regional patents from various countries. The database’s multilingual search capabilities facilitate global patent searches with ease. WIPO’s PatentScope is particularly useful for inventors with global patent ambitions. It offers insights into the patent landscape of multiple countries, helping inventors assess the novelty and patentability of their inventions on an international scale.
- United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO): The USPTO database is one of the most extensive collections of patents worldwide. It is a critical resource for inventors interested in the US market and seeking patent protection in the United States. Inventors can search for granted US patents, published applications, and other patent-related documents. The USPTO database provides a wealth of technical information and legal data for inventors to analyze. The USPTO database is indispensable for inventors targeting the US market, as it offers insights into the patent landscape of one of the largest and most influential markets for innovation.
- European Patent Office (EPO) – Espacenet: Espacenet is the EPO’s patent database, offering patents from European countries and beyond. It is a valuable resource for inventors interested in European patent protection. Inventors can access European patent applications and granted patents, including those from European Patent Convention (EPC) member states. The database offers multilingual search capabilities, making it user-friendly for international users. Espacenet is particularly beneficial for inventors considering patent protection in Europe. It helps inventors understand the prior art in the region, assess patentability, and explore potential competitors.
- Google Patents: Google Patents is a widely used and accessible patent database. It is a convenient starting point for inventors and researchers conducting patent searches across various jurisdictions. The database provides a user-friendly interface and advanced search features. Inventors can search for patents from multiple countries, making it a versatile resource for global patent searches. Google Patents is valuable for inventors seeking a quick and broad overview of existing patents. It is particularly suitable for individual inventors and small businesses with limited access to specialized patent databases.
- FreePatentsOnline (FPO): FPO is a popular platform that offers free access to US and international patents. It is a valuable resource for inventors on a budget. Inventors can search for US and international patents and access patent PDFs and legal status information. FPO provides a simple and efficient way to conduct patent searches without incurring costs. FPO is beneficial for inventors with limited resources and small businesses. It provides essential patent search functionalities without the need for expensive subscriptions to other databases.
- Derwent Innovation: Derwent Innovation is a powerful patent database that offers extensive patent coverage and advanced search capabilities. Inventors and patent professionals can access a vast collection of global patents and patent-related data. The database provides sophisticated analytics and visualizations for in-depth patent analysis. Derwent Innovation is ideal for research-intensive industries, large corporations, and patent professionals seeking comprehensive patent information and advanced analytical tools.
- PatentScope by WIPO (PCT): Apart from the general PatentScope database, WIPO offers a dedicated platform for searching international patent applications filed under the PCT system. Inventors can search for PCT applications filed globally, along with relevant technical information and legal data. The PCT PatentScope is essential for inventors interested in the status and progression of international patent applications filed under the PCT system. It offers insights into the global patent landscape and the current stage of PCT applications.
- European Publication Server: The European Publication Server is an official platform that provides access to European patent applications and granted patents. Inventors can access a comprehensive collection of European patent documents, including descriptions, claims, drawings, and legal status information. The European Publication Server is valuable for inventors seeking patent protection in Europe. It offers official and up-to-date information on European patent applications and granted
Q1: Why do we do patent search?
A patent search is conducted to determine the novelty and patentability of an invention before filing a patent application. It helps applicants identify prior art and make informed decisions about pursuing patent protection.
Q2: What is patent search database?
Patent professionals utilize both paid databases (such as Dolphin, Orbit, Thomson Innovation) and free databases to conduct patent searches. These databases contain granted patents, non-patent literature, scientific publications, and research papers.
Q3: What are the three types of patent search?
The three common types of patent searches are Novelty Search conducted to assess the novelty and patentability of an invention by identifying prior art, Validity/Invalidity Search performed to determine the validity or invalidity of a granted patent by identifying prior art that may render the patent invalid, and the Freedom to Operate Search which helps identify enforceable patents that a product may potentially infringe upon, assisting in assessing the risk of patent infringement.
Q4: How much does a Patent Search cost?
The cost of a patent search can vary depending on various factors such as the complexity of the invention, the scope of the search, the databases used, and the expertise of the patent professional conducting the search. It is advisable to consult with a patent agent or attorney to get an accurate estimate of the cost based on your specific requirements.
Q5: How long is a patent valid?
The duration of a patent’s validity depends on the type of patent and the jurisdiction. In general, utility patents are valid for 20 years from the filing date, while design patents are valid for 15 years. However, it’s important to note that patent laws and regulations can vary between countries, and it is advisable to consult the relevant patent office or a patent professional for specific information regarding the validity of a patent in a particular jurisdiction.