• last updated : 20 April, 2023

What is a Novelty Search and Why to Conduct One?

Category: Blog

Novelty Search

A patent search, also known as a novelty search, patentability search, or prior art search, is a search to find citations of similar nature to that of one’s invention. Google Patents, Espacenet, Orbit Intelligence, Thomson Innovation, CNIPA, J-PLATPAT, XLSCOUT, and other databases are used for patent searches. 

If you want to know whether your innovation is new, unique, and patentable, you can conduct a patentability or novelty search based on the disclosure or important aspects of your invention. 

A novelty search determines whether or not your patent is eligible for a grant. If not, one can construct a structure around their invention based on the idea obtained from a patent search. 

It is critical to conduct a thorough search for prior art information before filing a patent with a patent office. This step in the application process helps a person avoid wasting time and resources by seeking protection for something that already exists in some form or another. 

Searching for patent information can be difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. To obtain specific assistance or advice, one should contact an intellectual property (IP) professional or an organization that deals in this business, such as XLSCOUT. Our AI-based Novelty Checker generates quality prior art search reports within a few minutes to assist you in performing patent searches and also provides you with complete IPR & Patent Prosecution Support. At XLSCOUT, we have access to more than 150 million+ patent publications from over 100+ jurisdictions. Depending on your needs and requirements, you can conduct a patent search on XLSCOUT’s patent search platform.

Why Should You Conduct a Novelty Search? 

You may think your innovation is unique, but you won’t know for sure unless you conduct a patent search. If there is anything even remotely similar to your innovation, you might not be able to obtain a patent. 

A novelty search’s primary goal is to project the likelihood of an invention being granted a patent, particularly when compared to international standards of innovation and non-obviousness. 

Because it takes a significant amount of time and money to develop an invention, the creator should ensure that no one else has claimed the innovation before filing their application for examination. 

During a novelty search, “prior art” for similar devices and methods that predate the invention is reviewed to determine whether it seems to be innovative and non-obvious. 

The prior art includes all public disclosures made before the filing date of a patent application, including US patents and patent applications, foreign patents and applications, web pages, advertisements, and any physically made goods or previously given services. It is also possible to search for non-patent literature. 

Even if a novelty search reveals that the invention is not patentable, it could still yield useful information for drafting a patent application. The results of the search will reveal prior art that is close to the invention, allowing for a patent. 


  • A novelty search can assist the inventor in better understanding the scope of the invention.
  • It can help the patent drafter with claim drafting by offering more knowledge of the innovation than the prior art.
  • The candidate can be more prepared to react to rejections, that may or may not occur during the examination phase.
  • It is feasible to avoid working on an already patented innovation. As a result, you will save time and money on the time-consuming and expensive patent application process.
  • Identifying what inventions already exist can help you avoid infringing on another company’s patent. As a result, there will be no FTO (Freedom to Operate) issues.
  • Existing patents may provide you with ideas on how to improvise your innovation and distinguish it from others.
  • You can learn about the inventions of your competitors and get ideas for potential business risks, partners, or investors.


  • Examining prior art, exemplary patent applications, and non-patent literature within the same technological field will help you draft your patent application correctly and avoid being invalidated in the future.
  • By comparing your patent application to prior art, you can anticipate some objections that a regional patent office may raise.You can prepare replies to these objections, which are commonly referred to as “office action responses.”
  • The information gathered during the search process will be useful in answering the question of why your patent is valid or whether you have a chance to overcome any rejections made by the patent office while examining your patent application.
  • The search will assist you in directing attention to the novel, non-obvious, or obvious aspects of your innovation. This will allow you to interact with your technology more deeply. Instead of wasting time and money on an application that will be useless because similar arts already exist.
  • A patent search in the right direction will increase the chances of getting a patent granted.
  • The search results will add significance to your existing invention while also making the examination process easier. One can gain valuable insights and improve the design, and once the patent is granted, one can commercialize it.
  • Prior art searches can be conducted in two ways: First, only for patent literature. Second, for any written or printed form material before the required time, and such arts are known as “non-patent literature.”
  • Even if you believe your invention is unique, you must conduct a novelty search. There may still be prior art that is sufficiently similar to your innovation to prevent you from obtaining a patent.
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