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Subject Searches

State of the art search

For a given field of technology, this type of search offers a complete report of the patent literature. The main objective is to have a general overview of the situation in a given field of technology. It can be useful in the early stages of a project, or simply to explore a new area of technology. Patent information is an important indicator of technological activity in the various field of technology and, as such, very useful in the development phase of new projects or to avoid wasting time and money by repeating the search work already developed by others.

Save time and money by researching information on a specific topic

Novelty/Patentability search

The first requirement for an invention to be patented is novelty: the object of the invention must not be known to the state of the art. The search for novelty, more targeted than the previous one, allows this requirement to be verified before filing the patent application. The other two requirements for patentability are the inventive step (the invention cannot be obtained in an obvious way by a skilled person in the art starting from solutions already known) and the industrial application (the invention can be manufactured or used by any kind of industry, even at an artisanal level).

Validity/Infringement search

The purpose of a validity search is to determine whether a granted patent is actually valid or should be considered null or otherwise limited in its scope of protection. This type of search can also be performed on patent applications still under examination, to assess what could be the actual scope of the grant. Any published disclosure (including non-patent literature) prior to the priority date of the subject patent is considered to be state of the art.

Freedom to operate (FTO) search

A freedom to operate search is carried out to determine the existence of any valid rights on territories of commercial interest that may constitute an drawback to the exercise of an industrial activity (product or process). This is fundamental search during the launch or marketing phase of a new invention to be carried out using rather strict requirements to avoid the failure to identify the infringed patent claims that may result in legal actions with an uncertain outcome.
This type of search should not be confused with patentability research; the latter is performed on the state of the art (including non-patent literature) to determine whether the product / process in question is new and can be patented. Freedom to operate search focuses only on existing patent literature (granted patents) since only granted patents give the owner the right to pursue any litigation. It is carried out by considering only the claims of the subject patent, which limit the legal scope of the patent.