Patent Searches - Beware!

You may be offered the opportunity to have a search done on your invention by an innovation management organisation, but it is important to realise that a patent search carried out before you get a filing date for your patent application (known as the Priority Date) is only useful for telling you that your patent is in conflict with "found prior art". This is because the Examiner who examines your patent application in the searching phase of patent processing, will only be able to examine intellectual property that might be in conflict with your patent application, after all patents that were filed up to the date of your Priority Date have been published. This thus means that you will have to wait until 18 months have elapsed measured from your Priority Date, in order to obtain a meaningful examination result. In other words, you will have to wait until your patent application reaches the publication stage of the patenting process to obtain reaql value from a patent search.

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