The Value of a Prior Art Search

Before you dive head-in to preparing and filing a patent application, it’s important to do some diligence. Many inventors will want to do a targeted prior art search before preparing a patent, as it comes with a few major benefits.

1. It lets you know if someone else beat you to it. If someone else has published exactly how to do your invention, or previously filed for a patent on it, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and either try to improve on your invention, or come up with a brand new one.

2. It lets you design around the prior art. If there are some similar inventions already on file with the patent office, doing a prior art search can help you and your patent attorney draft the application to avoid that prior art. You can add limitations that are not found in that earlier work.

3. It may inspire you. It’s not uncommon for an inventor to be inspired by some of the other work, and develop further improvement to their own invention because of it.