Why do We Need a Proper Unified System for Patent Search Internationally?

by  Adv. Devansh Gandhi  




4 mins


Patent search

Those days are long gone when inventions and properties were limited to four walls or words limited to a singular territory. Now, any mention of property that has been made belongs to the world, and there are heavy compensations available for the one who is selling such an invention.

The result of such globalization is the collective growth and unification of technological advancement. Any patent needs to go through a process, and patent search is one of them.

The reason why patent search is needed?

As mentioned above, globalization has become one of the major reasons why people can leave the benefits of an invention made in any part of the world. So, anyone who is aspiring to register their patent needs to go through the process of finding whether his patent application meets the criteria of novelty, non-obviousness, and usefulness.

This can only be done by conducting a Patent Search Online. There is a designated portal opened by Indian patent authorities for smooth and easy patent search services. Earlier in India, it was a huge task and needed a lot of bookwork; we have a lot to thank for digitalization to fast-track every process in our lives.

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What are the different types of patent searches in India?

Freedom to Operate Search (FTO)

This type of search is conducted, which is why many companies are making heavy investments in launching their products in the market. To make sure that their product is safe and does not breach any contract patient of any other inventor, a freedom-to-operate search is conducted.

  • Places in which freedom to operate search can be used include:
  • Areas that require mapping of technical field
  • To decipher any imminent infringement
  • Ascertaining countries where their patent application will stand tall
  • To know their competitors
  • To evaluate the potential for new projects or activities that have been launched.

Novelty and Patentability Search

This search is conducted to determine whether a patent meets the criteria of being novel and non-obvious. It is important to check all the features of an independent claim and see if they contradict the prior art. Novelty and patentability searches can be useful in the following areas.

  • Providing legal and proper clarification on whether an invention is regarded as new or not.
  • For evaluating all the disclosures related to the invention
  • Check if inventive steps were taken in making this new invention.
  • Clearing all the doubts in case of any dilemmas related to patent application
  • It also helps in distinguishing inventive steps and state-of-art

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Patent Prior Art Search

If a technology or invention already exists and a new patent is filed for it, the already existing invention becomes prior art for the newly filed invention. The patent search report is made based on the prior art and looks for any infringement in the context of this feature of the patent application.

Some of the major features and functions of the prior art include

  • Helps in generating new ideas for research and development
  • Healthy identifying state of art in technologies
  • Helps in upgrading already existing technologies and their trends
  • Heads in coming on two solutions for all the technical

Validity or Invalidity Search

Under this heading, searches were conducted to check the inventive step in the current application. The desired outcome in this type of search is either valid or invalid. Inventive steps and novelty are an integral part of an invention. Hence, the following steps must be followed

  • This step should be conducted before patent licensing
  • Helps in preparing patent enforcement
  • Makes new patents null and void who are on the verge of infringing the already existing patent

These are some of the major patent searches conducted all over India. If an inventor is seeking protection operating within the boundaries of India, they can approach the Patent Office to file a territorial patent; otherwise, if they’re looking for an international application, they can approach the Patent Office and apply for their Patent through PCT.

Patent search and analysis reports and all the other documents are an integral part of assessing whether your patent application will be accepted or not. So if you are looking for national or international protection, make sure it needs all the requirements and has cleared all the searches conducted by patent offices.

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It can be seen that registering a patent is a time-consuming and expensive procedure. People make a lot of money out of this patient; hence, this layer of protection is important to ensure that the beneficiary can make the most of it and that no one is exploiting it without the prior consent of the owner or inventor.

A patent is an intellectual property that belongs to its owner. The government and authorities are responsible for ensuring that the right party is making the most of it and that the public can later use it for their benefit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why is a Patent Search Important?

Ans1. A patent search helps ensure your invention meets the criteria for patentability in India: novelty, non-obviousness, and usefulness. It avoids wasting time and money on applications unlikely to be granted.

Q2. What are the Main Types of Patent Searches in India?

Ans2. The main types of patent searches in India include:

  • Freedom to Operate (FTO) Search: Determines if your product infringes on existing patents.
  • Novelty and Patentability Search: Evaluates if your invention is new, non-obvious, and potentially patentable.
  • Patent Prior Art Search: Identifies existing patents relevant to your invention.
  • Validity or Invalidity Search: Assesses the strength of your patent or a competitor’s patent.

Q3. What are the Benefits of a Freedom to Operate Search?

Ans3. An FTO search helps companies:

  • Launch products safely without infringing existing patents.
  • Identify potential competitors and patent landscapes.
  • Evaluate the potential for new projects and activities.

Q4. How Does a Novelty and Patentability Search Help?

Ans4. A novelty and patentability search helps:

  • Determine if your invention is truly new and non-obvious.
  • Evaluate existing disclosures related to your invention.
  • Clarify if inventive steps were taken in your invention.
  • Address doubts before filing a patent application.

Q5. What is Prior Art in Patent Law?

Ans5. Prior art refers to any existing technology, invention, or public disclosure that can be used to assess the novelty of a new invention.

Q6. Why is a Patent Prior Art Search Important?

Ans6. A patent prior art search helps:

  • Identify existing inventions relevant to yours.
  • Generate new ideas for research and development.
  • Track the state-of-the-art in your technological field.

Q7. What is the Purpose of a Validity or Invalidity Search?

Ans7. A validity or invalidity search helps assess the strength of a patent by determining if it meets the criteria for inventive step and novelty.

Q8. Where Can I Conduct a Patent Search in India?

Ans8. You can search for patents online through the Indian Patent Office website or use subscription-based patent search tools.

Q9. Can I File a Patent Application for International Protection?

Ans9. Yes, you can file an international patent application through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) via the Indian Patent Office.

Q10. How Do Patent Search Reports Affect My Patent Application?

Ans10. Patent search reports are crucial for assessing the likelihood of your application being accepted. They help identify potential issues and improve your chances of success.

Struggling to file a patent? We suggest you talk to a lawyer specializing in intellectual property rights.

Adv. Devansh Gandhi

Adv. Devansh Gandhi


4.8 | 135+ User Reviews

Devansh Gandhi, with 6 years of experience in handling legal cases, provides legal consultancy and advisory services with a keen emphasis on ethical and professional conduct to achieve favourable results. Coupled with his strong communication skills and ability to speak in Hindi and English, he can present his clients' cases with clarity and persuasion.

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