3 Obstacles to Overcome for Efficient Patent Searches

Three Obstacles to Overcome for Efficient Patent Searches

January 27, 2022

Determining the patentability of an invention is notoriously difficult. Not only do patent professionals need a firm grasp on applicable patent laws and procedures, but they must also be able to sift through and understand an abundance of information to determine how it could impact patentability. In short, patent practitioners have enough on their plates and should not need to tolerate tools that fail to overcome obstacles unnecessarily limiting efficient patent searches. To better meet their needs, modern patent search tools enable professionals to access and evaluate more prior art in less time.

1. Overcoming obstacles: geographic limitations

In order to establish an opinion on patentability and develop a rock-solid patent prosecution strategy, professionals need to access the global prior art upon which patentability depends. A problem commonly arises, however, because prior art patent documents are not all located in one easily accessible database. For the most part, each patent authority (e.g., USPTO, Chinese Patent Office, etc.) maintains its own patent database containing only the patent documents that it has been involved in. As a result of obstacles like this, patent professionals often have to search many databases separately to obtain enough prior art references to form an adequately supported patentability opinion.

The need to search multiple patent databases leads to patent searches that are either time-consuming and expensive or limited in their scope due to time constraints. The LexisNexis TotalPatentOne® patent search platform eliminates the need to choose between cost-effective and efficient patent searches by providing users with simultaneous access to documents from patent authorities from around the world. Housing over 110 million full-text patent documents and over 70 terabytes of patent data, TotalPatent One® enables users to conduct patent searches more efficiently than ever.

TotalPatent One

2. Overcoming obstacles: barriers to interpretation

The user interfaces of most patent authority databases also prevent professionals from efficient patent searches and determining the relevance of each search result. Patent authority database results are typically presented in a table containing only basic information, such as document numbers, filing dates and patent document titles. To overcome obstacles like this and to understand whether any given search result is material to a user’s mission, the user must click through links to find and read through full-text patent documents.

In contrast, TotalPatent One helps users quickly identify material patent records. TotalPatent One efficient patent search results pages are equipped with a sidebar that allows users to easily preview and evaluate patent records. Customizable to each individual’s preferences, sidebars can be tailored to show patent document images, abstracts, claims and other useful information.

TotalPatent One

3. Overcoming obstacles: limits on accessibility

Another drawback to most patent databases is that, while they contain a lot of patent records, it is difficult to follow search leads from one patent document to another. For example, a researcher may come across an important citation while reviewing a patent but have no direct access to the cited document. TotalPatent One utilizes relationships between patent records and provides a user-navigable network that can significantly reduce search time. When TotalPatent One users review a document, they can leverage direct links to backward citations and forward citations, as well as links to all documents within a particular patent family or classification code.

Patent practitioners have enough problems to overcome, so there is no reason to tolerate unnecessary limitations and obstacles to efficient patent searches by hindering the ability to access and evaluate prior art.  The TotalPatent One patent search platform enables users to overcome limitations and access more information, more easily.

Learn more about TotalPatent One.

Explore how to identify relevant patent records in global patent search results.

For more on efficient patent searches read Use Modern Patent Search Tools for Better Results.

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