A patent is a legal document that provides granting of an exclusive right by a government authority to
an inventor on its invention/prototype. This grant provides the inventor exclusive rights to
the patented process, design, or invention for a designated period (20 years) in exchange for an all-
inclusive disclosure of the invention. They are a form of incorporeal right. The patent statute tells us that
any new and useful process, machine, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement
thereof is entitled for patent protection.
In order to obtain a patent, you should first understand the difference among an idea and an invention,
understand your idea is patentable, determine the inventorship & ownership, developed goals, and with
a bit of luck, you learned you are not banned from patenting. Once you are clear in your mind, it is now
the time to do a prior-art search to determine the patentability of your idea/invention.
Similarly, a novelty search is a process for researching the existing patents in a database to ensure your
invention doesn’t already exist. The search will help you save both time and money by knowing early on
whether your idea is worth pursuing or not. You must do or get a professional patent search done on
the invention ensuring no overlapping of an existing patent. It can avoid wasting resources
in patent filings and prosecution proceedings if the invention is not unique, allowing inventor and
corporation to use their budgets sensibly. The novelty search helps to recognize the nearby arts and
accordingly can define the scope of defense in patent claims. If there is no prior art found at that time
you can forward with drafting your patent application based on the search results. Novelty searches can
also be used to help an inventor determine what is unique about the invention. If any prior art is not
found that overlaps your idea, your invention can be possibly patentable. For example, Thomas Edison
did not get a patent on the straightforward idea of the light bulb. It was previously patented and
consequently was in the prior art. Instead, Edison got a patent for his enhancements to the light bulb.
These improvements involved a very thin filament and a reliable technique for linking the white-hot
filament to the room temperature lead wires.
Further, getting a patent for your invention requires a filing process. Once you submit your patent
application to the patent office, the examiner conducts a prior art search to determine if there exists any
art before the filing date of the patent application that could deem your idea invalid. If such art is
present, your patent application gets rejected and you might have to make some modifications in the
claims of your invention, such that it does not have any overlying prior art. And if your patent
application beats this phase, you will get a grant for your patent.
Patent examiners also conducted novelty searches during the prosecution of a patent. However, if you
feel your idea/invention is vital and should be granted a patent, it always makes sense to get
a patentability/novelty search conducted by an expert earlier to ensure that your invention meets the
standards of patentability. Further, this tactic makes sense since you can save a lot of resources in terms
of time and money, spent on drafting, filing, and prosecution fees of the patent application.
Professional Search Fees
Patent searches fee differs as there are different approaches used by experts that may vary their charge
fees. Some pick for a flat rate, while others charge an hourly charge. The hourly fee is mostly relevant in
cases where you want the researcher to categorize through the information and give you a view of the
patentability of your invention. Eventually, the fee being charged derives down to the method being
used by the researcher who would perform the search.
If your invention is simple, the researcher might charge you around $400 for the search. This is the case
if you opt for a service that doesn’t offer a thorough opinion or analysis. For more complex inventions
you might end up paying $1000 or more as it involves a deep examination of the domain underneath
Doing it yourself way sounds wonderful, however, it has its own set of cons. It cannot always be said
with assurance that no prior art went unsearched as the search needs skills, training, and practice. Any
prior art if missed could lead to the rejection of the patent application
or expiry of the granted patent at
a later stage. Hence, it becomes paramount that the task is allocated to experts who know their
technique in the business – aka conducting a comprehensive search. It is also tremendously important
to choose the right company to do the work, whose task is to help you with your end goal and not just
take up a search as a vending machine approach. In other words, you should be looking for a service
provider and not a vendor to carry out your search to get the top results. To find the best vendor for the
job, you may research around a bit, and read some of the reviews/testimonials posted by others who
have perused a particular company’s service – In short, do your homework before settling with a patent
attorney for the search. The chances of getting a patent grant for your application and retentive the
validity of your granted patent depends a lot upon the patent attorney you choose to conduct the
search on your behalf, so choose wisely!
Related Links :
1.The Importance of Patent Drawings for Low-Tech Products
2. What patent should we apply A Design or Utility Patent? And how is Design Patent different from Utility Patent?
3. What can Patent Attorneys do in COVID-19 Pandemic disruption on the patent filing?