In defining a patent-search strategy, how does one set out to find what one is looking for? If the searcher doesn’t find relevant prior art, how does one know that the search was thorough enough? There is really no such thing as an exhaustive search, but having a well laid-out methodology provides formalism and guidelines to provide a high-quality search at a reasonable price. Anyone can perform a search. In fact, we encourage inventors and entrepreneurs to do their own search before consulting with us about a professional patent search.
Patent-office examiners follow a rigorous protocol (according to their jurisdiction) in conducting their searches which serve as the basis for their patent analysis. This does not mean that such searches are thorough, but it does mean that they have a system to rely on and follow to provide aspects of reproducibility and quality control. Of course, in some cases, expediently dealing with a patent application can lead to a poor search being performed due to lack of complete understanding of the invention.
At FlashPoint IP, we implement two types of input strategy in performing professional searches – informed search strings and semantic-search queries. We also offer targeted quick-searches which use the same methodology as the informed search strings, but are more focused on detecting red flags. The choice of which type to employ is dependent on many factors including density and rate of innovation in the technical field, resources available, and intended use of the search report (such as for patent analysis versus patent drafting). Contact us to find out more about FPIP patent searches.