Patent Art | Patent Search

What is a prior art?

Prior art is all information that has been disclosed to the public in any form about an invention before a given date. Prior art includes things like any patents related to your invention, any published articles about your invention, and any public demonstrations.
Patent law states "On taking up an application for examination or a patent in a reexamination proceeding, the examiner shall make a thorough study thereof and shall make a thorough investigation of the available prior art relating to the subject matter of the claimed invention." This means that prior art could disqualify your application for a patent.
According to Patentcafe prior art is "the total body of knowledge, which teaches or otherwise relates directly to an invention. This is the primary criteria in determining the patentability of a new invention. Establishes novelty and unobviousness of the art that relates to the invention in question. Prior art references include documentary sources such as patents and publications from anywhere in the world, and nondocumentary sources such as things known or used publicly."

What is a prior art search?

For an invention to be patented, the criteria of novelty and non-obviousness have to be met. A prior art search is undertaken to ascertain whether an invention is new and non-obvious, or not.

What are the benefits of a prior art search?

To begin with, a prior art search will uncover any knowledge existing prior to the invention at hand. This knowledge might include, but may not be limited to, patent applications, scientific theses and industrial know-how. Once this knowledge is obtained, an inventor will get an accurate idea of just how novel and non-obvious the invention is. Afterwards, the inventor can, accordingly, re-work his invention and patent application to enable the grant of a patent for the invention. Thus, a prior art search will help distinguish between what is already known (prior art) and what is new (invention).
The secondary benefit of a prior art search is that an inventor can also use such a search to understand the prevailing state of art in his field of research. This will give an idea as to how the future scope of research could be.

How is a prior art search done?

IP Cell recommends inventors to engage in four phases of a prior art search.
Short-listing of keywords
Exhaustive search of databases
Extensive Internet-based search
Analysis and Interpretation of search results

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