• last updated : 20 April, 2023

What is a Patentability Search Report?

Category: Blog
search report

A patentability search report, a patent search report, a patent landscape search report, a prior-art search report, and other reports are prepared based on the analysis. The terminology used is determined by the scope of the analysis. If the search analysis shows that the invention is not obvious or recognized in the prior art, the inventor may proceed with drafting a patent. However, if the search analysis uncovers prior art or citations similar to the invention, or if the obviousness of the invention is called into question, the inventor may be forced to change or amend his invention. The patentability search report must assist the inventor in determining where they stand in the technology if their ideas are non-obvious, novel, patentable, or obvious, known in the prior art, and unpatentable. 

Citation Analysis

Following the search, the identified citations are handpicked based on key features. Subsequently, the closest citations are thoroughly examined. The citation analysis gives a thorough understanding of the invention’s novelty. It shows which main attributes are disclosed in the prior art, which are novel and not common, and which are not disclosed at all in the prior art. 

Based on the search analysis, the inventor can modify his invention and further draft the invention and its claims. The searchers can summarize each citation offered in the search report. They can also create a statement based on what is disclosed and what is not disclosed in the invention. The searchers must be well-versed in the domain, and their comments can help the inventor quickly review the citations provided.

Furthermore, the searcher/analyst can develop a patentability viewpoint that clarifies which elements of the invention are novel and not obvious.

The search report includes all prior art relevant to the invention, such as non-patents, pending applications, granted, alive, dead, expired, or abandoned patents, and so on. 

Factors to consider when estimating the cost of a patent search include: 

1. Scope of Search

Consider the possibility of missing vital information when deciding how much to spend on a patent search. Remember that the goal of a patent search is to determine whether it is worthwhile to file a patent application. What if you take the easy route and don’t find any relevant prior art, only to see your patent overturned years later due to a more thorough search revealing that your innovation was not patentable? Therefore, the more thorough your patent search, the better protected you will be.

2. Search Logic

Every patent search employs natural language queries of relevant databases. For instance, Google searches. Advanced searches, in contrast, will use proximity searches, Boolean operators, and connectors. These searches tend to seek documents that don’t perfectly match the query phrases but still comprise useful information. The most advanced, precise searches will include classifications and common assignees (applications and patents involving one or more inventors conducting the search). The more comprehensive the method, the more likely relevant prior art will be discovered. 

3. Search Location

Unfortunately, most patent searches are outsourced to foreign firms in India and other countries. This can undoubtedly affect the quality of the search, as English proficiency and vocabulary differ significantly between contractors. It is more costly to do a patent search in the United States. The lower the cost of a patent search, the more likely the work will be outsourced. 

4. Search Deliverable

“Search deliverable” means the final product you will receive from the individual or firm conducting the patent search. You will receive a stack of papers if you select the low-cost option. This stack contains copies of applications, patents, schematics, and anything else relevant to the searcher. It will be up to you to connect the dots in meaningful ways. That is, the less you pay, the more work you will have to do on your own, and vice versa. 

A feature matrix with a few citations that indexes the detected material will most likely appear in the middle of the spectrum.
Art matrices, which indicate where necessary elements can be found in patent drawings and other papers, are among the most expensive searches. 

The patentability opinion is the final deliverable of the search. Most lawyers agree on several analytical hours beforehand (usually at least one, but sometimes up to ten). Further, they provide a patentability determination based on what was done during that time. A better search significantly reduces analysis time. 

As a result, paying for a better search deliverable that smoothens the analysis is less expensive than the additional attorney time needed to evaluate a substandard search deliverable. 

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