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What is Prior Art Research and How is it Done?

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122401636Prior art research is a critical step in the patent application process. It can help determine whether an existing patent is valid or, if you are considering filing a new patent, can help you estimate the likelihood that the application will be granted. In either situation, LexisNexis® IP Solutions can help you get the job done.

Prior art research is an attempt to find information that could question the novelty or level of innovation of an invention at the time the patent application was submitted.

  • “Prior art” refers to knowledge that pre-dates the invention.
  • To receive patent protection, you must show your idea is not already known.
  • If certain aspects of your invention are already known or have been invented by others, patent protection may be available only on the novel parts of your invention.

Many publications could be reviewed in a prior art search:

  • Earlier patents
  • Pending patent applications
  • Rejected patents
  • Abandoned patents
  • Scientific publications
  • Textbooks
  • Newspapers
  • Lectures
  • Demonstrations
  • Exhibitions

Whether something is prior art depends on the filing date of the patent application in question. It is prior art if the publication or disclosure was made before (whether that is days or years) the day the patent was filed.

What tools can help me perform prior art research?

Reed Tech offers four products and services that enable intellectual property professionals to perform more efficient and thorough prior art patent searches to create more effective patent applications:

LexisNexis® TotalPatent®

This is a patent search engine with the world’s largest collection of searchable full-text and bibliographic abstract patent documents, from more than 100 patent authorities, to help you perform prior art research, including images, citations, legal status and patent family collections.

LexisNexis PatentAdvisor℠

The PatentAdvisor Document Search allows you to research and filter results for USPTO office actions, claims and responses across an extensive collection of pending, granted and abandoned patent applications. Perform office action searches, or search claims and responses, or other US patent application searches.

LexisNexis® PatentOptimizer

This tool allows you to quickly research specific claim elements in the prior art by using advanced features such as semantic search, and capture or associate prior art reference data into an auto-generated claim hierarchy and perform prior art analysis.

IP Services (formerly ReedFax®)

This is the best option if you just do not have the time to perform prior art research yourself, because IP Services can do it for you. We deliver expert, on-point results thanks to our team of researchers who have many years of experience in specialized research.

Properly performed prior art research can mean the difference between success and failure when prosecuting or challenging a patent application. If you would like to learn more about how Reed Tech can help you and your organization, contact us today.