In the field of Intellectual Property, before studying and formulating the elements intended for registration for patents, designs or trademarks, it is almost always of utmost importance to carry out in-depth analyses by means of prior searches.
The search for Patents for Invention, Utility Models, Designs, Trademarks can be carried out making use of many databases, some with free access and others with fees.
As regards patents, searches can be useful, for example, to:
– be aware of the state of the art, that is the technical solutions adopted in a specific sector or for a given problem so as to safeguard initial investment;
– detect innovative solutions of a competitor;
– be aware of the extension and geographic distribution of the exclusive rights of others, which is very useful information in order to develop effective business strategies;
– identify patents for which a licence can be requested (often more cost-saving than developing a new solution to a technical problem which is not the subject matter of an exclusive right);
When carrying out patent searches, it is necessary to consider that they can be made on the basis of several parameters, such as keywords in the title or in the description, owner, inventor, classification. Moreover, the result of the search can be different depending on the moment in which it is carried out due to the fact that the Patents for Invention are subject to a period of secrecy of eighteen months from the date of filing and, therefore, following a further search, new filed patents, which were not accessible before, may emerge.
Moreover, when carrying out Trademark searches, it is necessary to consider that the search for a figurative mark can be very complex and that, in the case of a word mark too, it is necessary to verify the presence not only of identical trademarks, but also of similar marks that may be confusing.
Therefore, it is advisable to address a specialist having experience in the field of Industrial Property Titles and in the search field.