Patent practitioners need to conduct patent searches to answer a variety of questions. Is my client’s invention patentable? Is my client’s product infringing someone else’s patent? Is my client’s competitor’s patent even valid? What does the patent landscape look like in my client’s industry before they begin to design their new product?
No matter which question you are trying to answer, it is common practice to for patent searches to be completed by a third party search company rather than in-house by a patent attorney. In the past, the amount of time and resources needed to conduct a thorough patent search was enough to justify passing along this responsibility, however, the quality of contemporary patent search software and the results attainable with modern patent search tools may be enough for patent attorneys to rethink their reasons for outsourcing.
Reason 1: Searching Multiple Databases
To determine whether an invention is patentable in the U.S., a patent attorney should have an understanding of the patent documents and other prior art available worldwide. For most, databases maintained by countless patent authorities must be searched separately to compile patent documents from all four corners of the globe, but users of LexisNexis TotalPatent One™ are able to search over 100 patent authorities simultaneously – giving them access to over 100,000,000 patent documents every time they run a search, and saving them a significant amount of time and effort.
Reason 2: Filtering a Large Volume of Patent Data
The USPTO’s electronic records date back to 1976, and electronic scans of patent documents are accessible from 1790. Even if the USPTO database is the only patent database you need to conduct your patent search, you may still wind up with an overwhelming amount of patent literature in your search results. TotalPatent One has a variety of filters to help deliver the pointed results you need. Not only can patent practitioners easily apply a variety of filters to direct their searches to specific authorities, publication dates, CPC classes, and more – users of TotalPatent One can interact with graphical breakdowns of search results until their results have been tailored appropriately.
Reason 3: Reading an Abundance of Patent Documents
Once you feel confident that you compiled a library of patent documents related to your query, it is then time to read through your patent literature to determine which documents are truly relevant to the question you are trying to answer. Patents and patent applications are rarely concise, but TotalPatent One saves you time and improves your efficiency by presenting search results through an intuitive user interface. TotalPatent One allows users to view patent document titles, abstracts, statuses, and clipped front page images right from the results page so that they can quickly determine where their attention is most appropriately needed.
Reason 4: The Cost of an In-House Patent Search
Patent practitioners often conclude that the time and resources required to conduct their own patent search will be too much to pass along to their clients, and instead they turn to third parties who specialize in patent searches and can complete the task with less expense. LexisNexis TotalPatent One patent search software has leveled the playing field for patent practitioners – enabling deep patent searches to be completed in-house with ease and efficiency.