Patent Prior Art Search and 4 Quick Ways to do it

Doing a prior art search on their own is customary for patent attorneys. This makes many investors feel disheartened too. As the squabble goes, it’s best to assign the legal footwork to the legal experts.


However, for people working as experts in fields such as science and engineering, outsourcing isn’t always the best use of budget regulation for prior art search. You’re possibly already well-equipped to handle an effective prior art search on your own — with little assistance from the professionals.


What is a prior art search?

For an invention to be patented, the norms of originality and non-obviousness must be met. A prior art search is commenced to ascertain whether an invention is new and non-obvious or not.


What are the advantages of a prior art search?

To begin with, a prior art search will reveal any knowledge current before the invention at hand. This information might comprise, but may not be restricted to, patent requests, scientific theses, and industrial savoir-faire. Once this knowledge is invested, an investor will get a precise notion of just how novel and non-obvious the invention is.


Later, the inventor can, consequently, re-work his invention and patent application to qualify for the grant of a patent for the invention. Thus, a prior art search will help differentiate between what is previously known (prior art) and what is new (invention).


The secondary advantage of a prior art search is that an investor can also use the answers to understand the established state of the art in his field of research. This will provide direction on the give an idea as to how the forthcoming scope of research could be.


How is a prior art search done?

Patentkart endorses inventors to engage in four phases during the prior art search.


Short-listing of keywords

  • To lead a thorough search, you’ll need to account for all viable keyword patterns that could occur in the prior art.
  • There are numerous explanations why other patents and applications may use uncommon keywords:
  • The industry’s commonly accepted terminologies may have changed over time
  • Different industries may use different keywords to describe similar concepts
  • Many patent filings are translated from other languages to English


An exhaustive search of databases

  • Tries using some of these patent search tools to boost your search:
  • Google Patents
  • USPTO search interface
  • Espace (European Patent Office) search interface
  • WIPO search interface
  • Patent Lens


USPTO uses a classification state in which various classes and sub-classes are assigned to singular patents. Many practitioners have experiences that this system is not always very useful for prior art searching. As such, we don’t endorse using it as the primary resource to guide your search.


As an alternative, we acclaim making a list of the top 10 patent documents for the respective keywords — and then scrutinizing all the additional patent documents that reference, or are referenced by, that patent document which is also popularly known as “forward and backward” cross-reference search.


A section called “Non-Patent Citations” is always seen many times. However, it’s not easily searchable online. An individual has to request it be copied from the patent office.


Extensive Internet-based search

Prior art isn’t limited to only present patents or patent applications; it includes all ideas that are publicly accessible and publicly disclosed. As such, a complete prior art search should outspread beyond patent searching.

The following list is not comprehensive, but your prior art search could include:

  • A Google Scholar search for scholarly publications
  • Non-patent literature like articles, publications, or journals (printed or electronic)
  • Amazon or other commercial sites
  • The product pages of companies that might be innovating in the same space.


Analysis and interpretation of search results

  • When filing your patent application, you want to cite the most pertinent prior art to the USPTO. To get a better and sturdier patent, auditors must have the most relevant references at their disposal.
  • Additionally, this will also help in justifying the ethical duties of good faith, full disclosure, and candor to report a prior art that can have an impact on the entitlement’s patentability.
  • So make assured you save a listing of all relevant results, as well as comprehensive copies of the documents themselves.



Patentskart provides best-in-class services in the analysis of technology and intellectual property and patent-related information. Some of the services offered by Patentskart are:

  • Technology Landscape allows businesses to understand the technology and how effective it is before investing.
  • Whitespaces analysis to identify gaps in technology space that have no patenting activity and can be used to find new growth opportunities
  • Competitor landscape to understand your competitors  in the market so that you can prepare a unique portfolio for your company that helps your company to grow
  • Portfolio management services to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your portfolio and improve it accordingly.
  • The patent watch allows you to track your competitors and new product patents and design patents and their activity in the IP domain.Through this service, you can keep track of all the patents filings by your competitors that are submitted at regular intervals of time.
  • IP due diligence can help your business to assess the quantity and quality of IP assets.Due diligence can help to strengthen your portfolio and also understand the associated risks and benefits.


Patentskart caters to all your IP needs in one place and provides you with the best services that help you to grow your business.

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