Patent Search & Analysis
A patent search helps to identify information that was known to the public prior to your invention. This information is used to determine whether an invention may be patentable. The U.S. Patent Office encourages inventors to search the USPTO and worldwide patent databases to see if a patent has already been filed or granted that is similar to your invention, and the USPTO website provides helpful information on how to search the USPTO databases. Peer-reviewed, scholarly journals, industry publications, product information from company websites, and universities (theses, technical reports, and research) are also important sources of information.
Choosing a Search and Analysis Level
We offer several levels of search and analysis to meet your budget needs and risk tolerance, depending on your objectives. When deciding how much to invest in a patent search and analysis, consider the following:
- How does this invention fit within your entire patent portfolio and overall business strategy? If this invention is secondary to other inventions in your portfolio and/or competitive strategies, then it might be reasonable to rely on a limited scope of search. If this invention plays a significant role in your portfolio and/or competitive strategy, then you should consider a more comprehensive search.
- What is your overall budget for patenting this invention? If you have a smaller budget, then it might be practical to rely on a limited search to save resources for patent application drafting and prosecution.
- What is the potential market for your invention? If the potential commercial value for your invention is significant, you should consider a more comprehensive search.
- How competitive is your market? In competitive markets, there is typically more information available that will affect whether an application should be pursued and how effectively the application is written. If your market is competitive, you should consider a more comprehensive search.
Level 1: Search results only
We will search a proprietary patent database that offers greater flexibility and scope than the USPTO website. The search can optionally include non-patent literature. We will then provide you with both a description of the search scope and the search results for you to review in-house. We charge a flat fee for performing a Level 1 search.
Level 2: Limited “Invention Disclosure Review”
We will search the same proprietary patent database used in a Level 1 search, as well as databases for journal articles and other non-patent references, to identify direct or near-direct hits for your invention. Using this information, we will then conduct a preliminary analysis of your invention, which we call an “invention disclosure review”.
An invention disclosure review is a proprietary analysis that, with minimal time and cost, enables us to identify obstacles to obtaining valuable patent protection for your invention. If an invention survives the limited invention disclosure review, you might consider a more comprehensive review. We charge a flat fee for performing a Level 2 limited invention disclosure review.
Level 3: Full “Invention Disclosure Review”
In addition to the searching and preliminary analysis provided in the limited invention disclosure review, a Level 3 review includes a proposed claim strategy for the invention and identification of other entities that are pursuing patents in the field of your invention. We charge a flat fee for performing a Level 3 full invention disclosure review.
If you have different needs, we would be happy to work with you to create a meaningful, cost-effective search and analysis plan to fit your needs.