A prior art search is a check aimed at tracing any type of patent or non-patent documentation (brochures, manuals, internet pages, public prior use, etc.) publicly disclosed before a certain date, for example before the filing date of a patent application or its priority, relative to a certain technical subject.

A prior art search is often aimed at tracing documents capable of invalidating a third party patent or at tracing documents to verify the existence of the patentability requirements (novelty and inventive activity) of an invention that is intended to be protected with the filing of a patent application. In the latter case it is a search prior to the patenting activity.

Prior art searches can be carried out directly from our office, through complete and reliable databases, or are commonly carried out by patent office examiners during the examination procedures of patent applications.

The searches that our firm carries out are for example:

  • Searches by subject: aimed at tracing the public exclusive rights relating to a specific technical subject, for example to check whether a technical solution is new and inventive (patentability requirements) before filing a patent application, or to invalidate a patent rights of third parties demonstrating the lack of requirements at the time of filing.
  • Searches by name: aimed at verifying patent rights in the name of a specific natural or legal person, for example to verify whether or not a particular product marketed by a company is protected by patent rights or for surveillance services of competitors' deposits.