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    The Significance of Patent Searches

    The Preliminary Examination and Search, examines the filed patent application for formal correctness, and searches for published patents and any other published information, e.g. information published in the literature. At this stage it is unlikely to search the media, i.e. television and radio, but something might be found even at this stage.

    Because it is only a Preliminary Examination, there will be time to alter any incorrectness in the presentation of the patent application, but it is very important to note that the Preliminary nature of the Search means that it will only able to find patents which have been published, and so, will not find any patent applications which are still in the so-called “Patent Pipeline”.

    When a patent application is filed, it enters a metaphorical “Patent Pipeline” in that it remains secret until it is published, 18 months after the date of filing the first patent application (the Priority Date).

    This can be the filing date of any of those patent applications filed in the name of the Applicant which are chosen to be associated with the definitive version of the patent specification, i.e. that version of the patent specification which is usually filed as a patent application, just before twelve months have elapsed measured from the Priority date as discussed on how to patent something with InventHelp article.

    The consequence of this period of 18 months having to elapse from a chosen Priority date, before publication of the associated patent application, is that a Patent Examiner will not be able to see any patents which contain intellectual property which is similar to that present in your patent application, and which were filed at any time up to one day before the filing date of your patent application, until 18 months have elapsed measured from the Priority Date of any of those earlier patent applications which were filed on dates up to one day before the Priority date of your patent application!

    This means that any search which is carried out at any time before 18 months have elapsed measured from the filing date of your first patent application, will not find all patent applications which contain intellectual property which clashes with yours.

    Such an early search will therefore really only be useful to you at this early stage, if it does reveal conflicting prior art; i.e. patent applications which are in conflict with yours, and which each have a Priority Date which is more than 18 months before your priority date, or X days less than 18 months before your Priority Date, for a search carried out at X days after your date of first filing.

    You then know that you might be able to modify what you have in order for your then, newly created intellectual property, to be sufficiently different from what has been found. Alternatively, you might find out that you are wasting your time with your present idea or invention.

    However, please note that any new material that you produce will have to be incorporated into a fresh patent application, which will receive a new date of filing, but which can still retain everything that was in any earlier patent application, if you wish, since the Substantive Examination will dictate that changes to the specification be made, as a consequence of any prior art which is found during this, and the earlier, Preliminary Examination phase. Please also note that any new material filed in a patent application will be compared by the Patent Examiner strictly on the basis of the date on which it was filed.

    You can also see why the Substantive Examination is so important – it allows all Prior Art which is contained within patent applications which were filed just before your first one, and which could be in conflict with the intellectual property contained within your patent application, to be examined by the Intellectual Property Office. Read more from – how to patent something with InventHelp.