The Patent Search is widely known as prior art search. Prior art plays a significant role in determining the patentability of any invention.

It is a common mistake to think that prior art is limited to either existing products or granted patents. Moreover, the applied patents are taken into consideration as prior art.

But the periphery of the information that counts as prior art is beyond the granted patents or the existence of any product. In general, the prior art relates to an idea available in public or a patent application which is published or a patent is being granted.

For example, the prior art can be:

  • A product existing in commercial market.
  • Any invention commercially used.
  • Any published article or write ups.
  • Any publication or journal (printed or electronic).
  • Any presentation in seminar or workshop.
  • A description of an invention which is disclosed in published or granted patent.

Before filing a patent, the prior art search is necessary. The benefits of the prior art search are as follows:

  • It identifies the patent application where the claims are not patentable or will be rejected.
  • It helps to determine the subject invention is novel compared to public prior art.
  • It helps to build a strategy to draft strong claimsfor the patent application (reducing the chances of amending the claims at the time patent examination).
  • It helps to write about the related known technology while drafting your patent application.
  • It guides how the creative idea is fitted into the technological field.


It can be followed through different data bases available online under various methods, such as:

Keyword Search

Patents searchto be followed on the basis of key words associated with the invention.

Database Search

The search through Google Patents, USPTO Patent Search, Espace European Patent Office search, WIPO patent search and Patent Lens.

Broader Search

The search can be done through Google Scholar, various technical literatures (printed or on-line), Amazon or any commercial site.