During a validity search we aim to identify supplementary, novelty-obstructing material that concerns a patent, when faced with an objection or lawsuit relating to invalidation or licensing. We also investigate whether the patent has been correctly granted, and we can assess possible limitations. This work includes an analysis of the previous work, which often leads to new pathways for our searches, based on such questions as:
• Which national patent offices have carried out searches and which documents have they identified as relevant?
• Which databases were available at the time, and which search profiles were used?
• When were the previous searches carried out?
Using this analysis, we then design an appropriate search strategy utilizing the newest, largest commercial patent and scientific article databases to maximize our ability to find every possible publication that can call into question the validity of the patent under investigation. Searches are carried out in several languages, to ensure that nothing is lost in translation. Our report is normally based on a ‘claim chart’, or in other words, mapping results for each distinctive feature of the claims.
The more thoroughly prepared material we receive, the better results we can deliver. For this reason, we encourage you to include in your validity search order not only a patent number and claims to be searched but also a cut-off date that you would like us to use for the purposes of the search and if you would like us to concentrate on (or exclude) certain jurisdictions, assignees or non-patent databases. If you have already carried out investigations of your own, we welcome if you describe these in the order. A discussion before the start of the search is preferred since it helps to pinpoint the essential needs and details of your search case.