Four Reasons to Search with a Global Mindset
The world is the same size it has always been, but it definitely feels smaller. We are united by information, which has drastically increased the need to approach patent searches with a global mindset. If your patent searches are still being limited to only a few patent office archives, here are four reasons why you may want to reconsider.
#1 – Prior Art Is a Global Concept
Starting with the basics, the first reason to approach patent searches with a global mindset is that prior art (the references that stand between you and your patent) can come from anywhere in the world. Even if you are only applying for a patent in the United States and you do not plan on seeking patent protection in any other territories, U.S. patent law requires that your invention be both “novel” and “non-obvious” in light of global patent references. Refusing to search for prior art generated outside the United States means voluntarily remaining blind to internationally produced prior art, which could completely upend your patentability analysis.
#2 – The World Is Connected
There is no doubt that the world is more connected than ever. Patent references are largely archived in patent authority databases, and patent authorities can now easily share information with one another fairly easily. Additionally, many non-patent prior art references are just a few clicks away thanks to the world wide web. What this boils down to is that, despite having a limited amount of time to assess an invention’s patentability, patent examiners have relatively few blind spots when it comes to conducting patent searches. As a patent practitioner or patent applicant, conducting a global patent search puts you on par with your patent examiner and provides you with a better opportunity to develop a successful patent prosecution strategy.
#3 – Most Prior Art Is International
There was a time when patent applicants could get by with focusing their prior art searches on references from the United States because a large percentage of global patent filings were submitted to the USPTO. Today, the scales have tipped and, according to World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) statistics, the USPTO received only 18% of the world’s patent filings in 2019. Thanks to aggressive patent reform and incentives to inventors, the Chinese Patent Office received over 46% of the world’s total patent filings in 2019, and is the new global leader. Other patent leaders include Japan, the Republic of Korea and the European Patent Office, which accepted a combined 21% of global patent filings in the same year. The distribution of prior art around the world now makes global mindset during patent searches a necessity for developing a comprehensive picture of patentability before filing.
#4 – Global Search Tools Are Available
The world is connected, and you can be, too.
TotalPatent One is your global patent search solution.