ANALYSIS OF THE STATE OF THE ART
Patent prior art searches
In the field of patents, searches can be useful for example in order to:
- know the state of the art, that is the technical solutions adopted in a specific area or for a specific problem so as to safeguard initial investments;
- become aware of a competitor’s innovations;
- verify the extent and geographic distribution of the property rights of others (very useful information to develop effective business strategies);
- identify patents which can be licensed (often less expensive than developing a new non-patented solution to a technical problem).
When carrying out patent searches, it should be considered that they can be done based on multiple parameters, such as keywords in the title or description, name of the owner or inventor, International Patent Classification.
In addition, the result of the search may be different depending on when the search is carried out due to the fact that patents for invention enjoy a secrecy period of eighteen months from the filing date of the application.
Therefore, upon subsequent search, new filed patents may appear that were not previously accessible.
From July 1st, 2008, also Italian patent applications are subject to a novelty search by the EPO, European Patent Office, which is then sent to the UIBM and forwarded to the applicant within 9 months of filing, together with an opinion on the patentability of the invention.
This makes it advantageous to file an application because at a low cost you get a search whose results may be useful to the applicant to understand whether the patent deserves to be extended abroad or not or in any case whether it is worth investing in it.