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Prior Art Search: Why and How?

Payal Arora 17th, September, 2018

Prior Art Search is to identify all the coinciding inventions. Prior arts include issued patents, research paper, patent applications, presentations, videos, press releases and blogs. Anything related to your invention that is derived from public domain is fall under prior art.
Prior arts related to similar invention may perturb the decision of the examiner whether to grant the patent or not. It would always be better to perform the prior art search to know whether your invention is novel or not. The search can be performed before or after filing the provisional application. Prior art search attains you the professional guidance whether to move forward with your invention or not.

  • Search before filing will save money
  • Search before filing will give you number of prior art references to design around
  • Search before filing will help you to identify potential competitors
  • Search before filing will give you new insights for your invention

A prior art search requires a search strategy using multiple logics which includes phrase based search, keywords based search, classification based search and f-term based search.

Relevancy of Semantic Search

Semantic search will help to identify the concept and find the relevant prior arts. Semantic search cover all the results that could be missed with keyword based searching. Semantic search is the simplest search that can be performed by anyone by just pasting the sentence or paragraphs to find the most relevant or similar documents.

Relevancy of Keyword Based Search

Keyword based searching is a type of searching that help you to identify the relevant or similar documents using various synonyms for one relevant keyword. Combination of multiple different keywords must make logic to locate relevant documents. One missed keyword could skip the relevant documents.
All the keywords are extracted based on the key-features identified by the professional searcher from the invention disclosure. Keywords can also be selected from the additional information given in the disclosure e.g. Applications.

Relevancy of Patent Classification Search

Classes are segregated on the basis of technology. There are broader classes (base-class) as well as narrow classes (sub-class). Challenge is to extract the most relevant classes related to the invention. Classes include thousands of patents and patent applications so it would be suggested to use classes with appropriate keywords to extract relevant dataset to analyze. Patent classification includes IPC, CPC, F-Term, USPC, and ECLA.

Relevancy of Inventor Based Search

List of prolific inventors related to the technology of your invention will also help to extract the relevant documents. Easiest way to find the relevant inventors is using semantic search. Paid database like Derwent Innovation, Orbit etc. help to get you most active inventors.

Relevancy of Organization Based Search

Organization/ Assignee that is active in a particular domain related to your invention can also help to get most relevant documents. Paid database like Derwent Innovation, Orbit etc. help to get you most active assignee.