Aprior art search is an important component of any strategy to achieve maximum exploitation of intangible assets. Typically one of the first tasks performed by a patent practitioner on behalf of an inventor or IP manager, a prior art search involves the discovery of all possible literature related to an invention. The search can uncover and grant access to a whole range of relevant and valuable information contained in patents or in the public domain.
Gaining access to such information has several important benefits for inventors and IP managers: (i) it aids in accurate assessment of the viability of an invention; (ii) it helps avoid unnecessary patent prosecution and litigation, which is costly and time consuming; and (iii) it minimizes the threat of opposition proceedings. These benefits often lead to savings, allowing resources to be directed more profitably into research and development.
The key elements of a prior art search are the novelty (or patentability) search, the “freedom to operate” search and the invalidity search.
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Monika Rani Gadgala is a patent engineer and leads the engineering team of the patent and analytics department at Clairvolex Knowledge Processes, a Delhi-based legal outsourcing firm.
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