As per Google data, about 8oo Million searches are done everyday and 5% out these search are related to IP, further narrowing the search for patents to 2%. On an average 90% of these searches are conducted by one person, thus further reducing the data 400,000 valid searches across the globe for patents. Why these searches are conducted? What is significance of these searches? Are they investing USD 200-1000 i.e. INR 10,000-60,000? Is there any proper way to make a prior art search fruitful?
Well answers are simple enough for attorneys but for inventors, its mindbender. How let’s see:
The patentability searches are first and foremost stage of a patent registration process. In this an analyst/attorney asks for details from the inventor. If inventor gives optimum details at the time of patent search then the search conducted by an analyst is thorough and the results draws a clear picture that how and in what manner the patent should be drafted to remain novel and unobvious. But if the information is vague or not optimum then the search results becomes very broad and the path to a grantable patent becomes difficult.
Now again a question appears in the mind, how about if the inventor supplies complete information after search report? Sure, that’ll do the job for analyst but again he has to conduct a repetitive search that might generate a different and new set of results. Some of new results might be overlapping with older one some don’t. Then in this case drafting a patent becomes a little tricky and time taking because if an analyst fails to keep a prior art in mind then the same classification of prior art can result in rejection or invalidity (at much later stage).
So, in short the patentability report makes most of invested penny worth in a patent registration.
What if an inventor claims that his or her patent or innovation or invention doesn’t need search? Wrong perception!
Ask any attorney in the world he/she’ll suggest you to conduct a prior art search and they’ll charge you huge for the same. Why? Because they know that the patent language often includes some broad drafts that makes most of the patent registered today either an obvious patent or an anticipated, sometimes overlapping patent that may lead to invalidation after grant. In case or obviousness which is almost certain in every patent case registered now-a-days, the patentee has to show that his/her patent is remarkably difficult for an ordinary person known in the art to anticipate from the prior arts. Doable job but tricky one!
To solve these kind of situations the patentability search is done.
Why they are charged so much? My friend before developing a building structure, a survey is necessary and must to conclude that the building will be successful and the survey itself indulges heavy monetary input.
Although the patentability searches do not guarantee any patent grant or protection against invalidation, but they increase the chances which is smoothening enough to proceed for patent registration in a firm manner.
By Abhishek Tiwari
ANS IP MANAGEMENT SERVICES