Patentability or novelty search is done to find if the invention in question is patentable or not. This is the basic search which is done generally before drafting and filing of the Patent application. Search is conducted using keywords relevant to the invention. Generally, the granted patents and the non patent literature like the scientific publications and research papers are searched to determine the novelty of the invention. An invention is not considered novel, if it can be found in prior arts. Anything which has been made available to the public before the filing date or the priority date of application for patent claiming the invention is known as Prior art.
An invalidity search is conducted to find skipped prior arts so that a patent can be declared invalid. This is done generally in cases of infringement where a product is charged of infringing a patent. In counter claim of infringement, the owner of the product can declare the patent to be invalid, if any prior art can be cited. The idea behind the invalidity search is that generally a patent is granted to an invention by the Patent office after searching and examination done by the examiners. Examiners though carry out an extensive search, can skip some prior arts which could be crucial for declaring a patent invalid.
A Freedom to operate search or FTO is conducted to uncover the enforceable patents, which a product to be commercialized has the risk of infringing. Freedom to operate search is jurisdiction based and only the active enforced patents are considered while doing the searches. These searches are generally done to determine the potential risk of infringement a product possesses, if launched in the market of a given jurisdiction. Thus, these searches are also known as infringement search or clearance search.
State of art search is conducted to know potential existing competitors and solutions within a given field of technology. Generally few patents are randomly chosen representing a field of technology. The state of art search is done is to plan research and development activities more efficiently and to know which areas are not covered by the existing players.
The patentability analysis report contains the detailed analysis of the scope of patentability of the invention. The report is prepared based on the result of the searches conducted, mainly the worldwide patentability search done on paid and free databases. The search is conducted by patent professionals who are experienced and expert in their field.