Before seeking patent protection it is worthwhile to check if your idea is in fact new. At first instance, it is useful to conduct a general Google search. You may also like to search Google Patents or Google scholar. However, simply because your idea does not appear to be disclosed on Google does not mean it is new.
The next level of complexity is conducting a search of some of the patent databases such as the Australian Patent Office Database, the US Patent Database and the European Patent Office Database. We generally recommend starting with the European Patent Office Database as this typically the easiest to use. Searching can be conducted by keyword searching such as “foldable box” or, as is the preference of the patent office, by classification. Searching by classification is far more complex and should be conducted by an experienced Patent Attorney or Patent Searcher.
As you may appreciate from the above, patent searching is quite complex and no one can ever guarantee your idea is in fact new.
Our preferred way of searching is to file a provisional patent and have the Australian Patent Office conduct a preliminary search. This way you get a clear indication from the Australian Patent Office whether or not your idea is new – it’s also worth keeping in mind that potential investors or business associates tend to place far more weight on a search by the Patent Office!
Novelty searching is the more formal term used in the industry for checking if an idea is new. There are different levels of complexity of novelty searching that can be conducted. The simplest novelty searches are usually key word based.
However, a comprehensive novelty search should be based on a carefully designed patent search strategy which is based on the patent technological classification. This type of classification searching is similar to how the Australian Patent Office conducts searches when your patent application is examined.
Our preferred way to have a novelty search conducted is to file a provisional patent application and request for the patent office to conduct a preliminary search – this allows you to secure your idea and obtain an indication of novelty prior to filing any complete or international patent applications.
A novelty search can not guarantee that your patent will be considered novel. However, having a professional patent search conducted will certainly reduce the risk and assist to provide a base of relevant information from which to focus the application.
A clearance search is a search conducted to check whether your product or process infringes another’s intellectual property rights including patents and designs.
Whether or not you or your business chooses to seek patent protection, you may still infringe another parties patent right. If you are unsure, please contact Caska IP and we can let you know where you stand.
A clearance search can not guarantee that your product or process will not infringe another’s intellectual property rights. However, having a professional patent search conducted will certainly reduce the risk and may also provide you with valuable information as to relevant technology and/or competitor information.