Subject Matter Searches
- Patent Infringement
- Patent Validity
- Pre-Filing Budget Searches
- State of the Art
- Registered Designs
- Useful for tracking Competitor Activity
- Assessing portfolios for Mergers and Acquisitions
- For Data Mining assignees and inventors
- Chemical Substructures
- Nucleic Acid and Amino Acid Sequences
Non-patent literature searches
- Subscription Databases
- Internet Searches
- Library Research
- Subjects using Classes and Keywords
Legal status and equivalents
- Online Status of IP5 and numerous other territories e.g. CA, CN, EP, JP, KR, UK, US, WO
- INPADOC Status and Official Status for other countries through associates
- File Wrappers/Histories for several countries
See our "Company Brochure" for a detailed account of our services.
▾Subject Matter searches
▾Infringement / Freedom to Operate
Assists in establishing whether elements of your product, design or the process that you want to use, are already protected by another party. This type of search helps to avoid costly legal challenges and misguided product launches. Our report will list publications which you may risk infringing. This list could also help you identify patents or designs to licence, or perhaps change how you develop your product or influence where you manufacture and market.
Patents within the infringement period that are not in force, but which may clear your right-to-use by virtue of being in the public domain, are also reported. We can also provide the legal status for any IP identified. When this type of search is followed up with a validity search against any highly relevant patents identified, it is sometimes referred to in the USA and Canada as a clearance, right to make, right to use, or right to practice search.
Assesses the patentability of your new product or process or the validity of a particular design. Our search will look to find all documents relevant to its novelty, or obviousness in the light of the discovered prior art. This type of search is performed before filing or registration, or before seeking commercialisation. It can help to decide how you should draft your patent claims or whether to file an application at all, thereby reducing unnecessary costs and delays in the filing process.
Confirms whether a patent or design (either yours or a competitor's) is valid with respect to the prior art. For patent validity this may cover both patent and non-patent literature. If relevant prior documentation is found that was not located by the examiner, the patent can then be opposed or revoked on the basis that it was incorrectly granted.
Validity searches are therefore useful if a competitor is considering infringement proceedings. Alternatively, if you want to take legal action for infringement of your own patent, or are approaching a company to arrange a licensing deal, a validity search may be required to decide if the patent in question is vulnerable to legal challenge.
We can also verify the date of public availability of documents if this is required for court proceedings.
▾Pre-Filing / Novelty Budget Searches
These searches are carried out using a technique called Convergence Searching, which starts with highly focussed class, keyword or combination searches through selected patent sources and uses promising results as the springboard for extending the search within the allotted time. Our Pre-Filing or Novelty Searches can help to establish the scope of claims to be drafted and to avoid unnecessary office actions, in circumstances where the cost of a full patentability search is not warranted.
The cost of a Pre-Filing Budget Search is £600.
We offer a similar pre-filing service for pharmaceutical compounds in the case where broad Markush-style claims are being filed and you wish to check that these are not too widely formulated. Chemical Structure Pre-Filing Searches are somewhat more expensive due to the database costs involved and each request would be discussed with you before proceeding.
▾State of the Art
Establishes what has already been done and what solutions are available in a technology area. With so many innovative products and processes under research or development, research and funding organisations find it useful to see an overview.
We have significant expertise in searching Registered Design rights, both by holder and by subject matter. Territories covered include the UK, EU Community Designs, US Design Patents, International Industrial Designs, plus Australia, Belarus, Canada, China, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan (with certain limitations), New Zealand, Russia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, the Ukraine and others. Searches would be done for non-registered designs which may effect the validity of Registered Designs.
Discovers what your competitors are patenting and reveals their registered designs. Both standard and non-standard names are searched (i.e. variations arising from misspellings, transliterations, translations and abbreviations), and company histories are investigated to determine parent companies, subsidiaries and acquisitions where appropriate. Our report can list all documents in an inventor or assignee name, or can be limited by subject matter.
Where required we offer chemistry substructure searches.
We have searchers experienced in sequence searching, who can carry out homology searches for peptides, proteins or nucleotides.
▾Other Subject Searches
One use has been to identify corporations or law firms that are suitable targets for marketing, and to assess their patenting activity. Any statistical information derivable from a comprehensive patent database can be the subject of a data-mining exercise. Please consult us if you want to know whether your specific query can be answered by these means.
Reviews the state of technology in a particular field, deriving trends, statistics and visualisations, and identifies potential gaps that could be exploited. Exact definition of a patent map or landscape varies according to the requester's needs, but we believe that our high level of analytical input greatly facilitates the assessment of risks, technology trends, competitor activities and new business opportunities when compared to automated patent mapping systems.
The PatBase Analytics module is used to provide interactive overviews of technological areas. It can present a large amount of information in a visual format having immediate impact. For further information about PatBase please see www.minesoft.com.
We have experience of identifying pharmaceutical product patents and their expiry dates worldwide.
Watching searches allow for a regular watch to be kept on what the competition is doing. The publication and grant of patents or designs in a particular name or technical subject area can be regularly or continuously monitored to provide an alert as soon as a new development takes place.
Legal Status and Equivalents
Online Status of IP5 and numerous other territories e.g. CA, CN, EP, JP, KR, UK, US, WO
INPADOC Status and Official Status for other countries through associates
File Wrappers/Histories for several countries
Useful if the client has identified a patent or technical literature document that may be of interest, but is unable to source a full copy. We can supply these quickly and at low cost.
For details, please download our brochure "Our Approach to Searching".