Before you apply for a patent, it is important to conduct a comprehensive search for patent information. This step in the application process helps you to avoid wasting time and money by duplicating work that's already been done.
Why should I search?
Reasons to search
- determine whether you can protect your IP i.e. does your invention meet the various requirements for successful grant of a patent?
- determine whether you are infringing someone else's IP
- learn about the competition or for research purposes
- determine who owns an item of IP
- check that your IP is not being infringed
- obtain product information on your competitors
Obtaining competitive product information
- all patents owned by a competitor
- technical details of another system (if patented)
- all patents on a particular topic, product or technology
- details of technology that can possibly be licensed
Using competitive product information
- to design around a patent
- to get a step ahead of competitors