Why is Patent Search Required?
A patent specification, which is also termed as disclosure, is a written description of an invention. Generally, the patent specification is drafted with a view to satisfy the statutory written requirements for patentability, as well as to define the scope of the patent claims. While the layout of the patent specification varies across different jurisdictions, patent claims form an essential and most critical component of the patent specification, as they define the scope of the invention. The goal must always be to try to get patent claims allowed that will be construed to have an intended scope, with a minimum prosecution history.
One of the most common difficulties faced by inventors while discussing the invention with a patent attorney is to define the patentable features. Generally, inventors are unable to describe what according to them are the patentable feature and/or unique contribution their invention makes to the relevant field.
Also, it is common for the inventors to opine that they have never seen anything like their invention in the market, so they believe there is nothing that could restrict them from obtaining a patent. While this may seem theoretically possible, it is simply not true. There are numerous factors contributing to the fact that why something may have already been patented, or a design around technology may also have been patented.
For example, many times a patent is granted but, the product never makes it to the market. Additionally, some companies aggressively publish defensive publications to prevent their competitors from patenting a technology. Thus, it is always wise to do a patent search to start the process. It is always better to have a good idea about the related inventions, it further allows the inventors to decide whether moving forward makes sense, and it also allows for a patent application to be written in a way to emphasize on the unique, and likely to be patentable, aspects of an invention. Therefore, inventors should always be careful, and getting professional assistance from a patent attorney is the best and safest way to proceed.
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