How To Identify Prior Art Leads

How to Identify Prior Art Leads

June 16, 2022

There is an incredible amount of patent content in the patent databases of the world. Patent professionals must have an effective means of sorting out the “noise” and distinguishing the patent documents they need for their patent search. Known for its breadth, the LexisNexis TotalPatent One® patent search platform provides users with access to over 110 million full-text patent documents from patent authorities around the world. But a lot of what makes TotalPatent One® special is a user’s ability to quickly accumulate material patent search results by exploring relationships among patent records. The TotalPatent One preview sidebar feature provides users with previews of pertinent patent document information as well as links to many related patent records so they can identify prior art leads and follow them to expedite their patent searches.

Identify prior art leads with patents by listed assignees and inventors

A part of the TotalPatent One preview sidebar’s charm is that it displays bibliographic information for each patent search result, including hyperlinks to other patent records tied to any individuals or legal entities listed as inventors or assignees. Identifying additional patent filings by a listed inventor can help researchers identify prior art leads. Reviewing the patent records of a particular assignee can help users gain a better understanding of the assignee’s portfolio and the extent of their international patent protection.

Identify prior art leads with patents within the same family

A patent “family” includes all the patent documents in the world filed to protect the same, single invention. Patent families include original domestic patent filings and continuing patent applications, as well as international patent documents. The TotalPatent One preview sidebar provides links to all the members of a selected patent record’s family, which is especially helpful to users who want to better understand the family’s patent filing timeline and the geographic scope of patent protection provided by the family, and may also help identify prior art leads.

How To Identify Prior Art Leads patent families

Identify prior art leads with patent citations (in both directions)

When a patent application is submitted, both patent applicants and patent examiners supply a record of the previously existing patent documents they know of that could impact the patentability of the underlying invention (also known as a “backward citation”). Later, that patent application might be cited in the patent prosecution as being relevant to a different application (a “forward citation”). TotalPatent One users who leverage the links to a patent document’s backward and forward citations can use citations to expand upon the prior art references they have identified, and to better understand the evolution of a specific technology over time.

Identify prior art leads with similar patent documents

TotalPatent One compares the title and abstract texts of patent documents in its database to find similarities and catalog similar patent records. The “Similar Documents” section of the preview sidebar relies upon this feature and links users to the 10 patent records that are most similar to the one selected by a user. This is a great way to take a single patent search lead and multiply it to expedite the patent search process and identify prior art leads.

How To Identify Prior Art Leads similar documents

Patent professionals deserve to be able to easily navigate the sea of patent information that is out there. The information and links provided in the TotalPatent One preview sidebar enable patent researchers to explore connections among patent records and identify prior art leads. TotalPatent One reveals the threads that flow from one material patent search result and can lead users to numerous other relevant records.

Learn more about TotalPatent One and see how to conduct quality patent searches.

Learn about prior art research.

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