Effective Prior Art Research Leads To Quality Patents And Better ROI

By: Steve Pearson, Founder of The Pearson Strategy Group, LLC.

Whether you are a R&D Director, Director of Engineering, IP Attorney, Marketing Director, or Inventor, you likely prefer to base decisions on facts, not speculation.

Large companies routinely research their market, technology, and patent spaces as this Competitive Intelligence helps them refine their innovation and strategy, identify emerging opportunities and risks, identify infringers, and maximize their patenting ROI.

Small to mid-sized companies often skip doing effective research, especially on patents, to save money without realizing that they are missing important opportunities and risks while adding to their costs.

The inventors in these companies will search for prior art using the USPTO’s website or Google Patents when they have an inventive idea but at no other time.

The results obtained from their efforts will appear to be helpful; however, they are deceptive as the most related prior art is frequently missed.

Conversely, effective prior art research brings out highly related applications and patents which, in my own experience, usually identifies one or more references that initially appear to be identical to the inventor’s idea.

Patent research is obviously helpful in assessing your idea’s patentability but is can also help answer:

  • Should this idea be patented, even if it is novel?
  • What other technical solutions have already been utilized in this space?
  • Is there a market for your idea and what market opportunities are being overlooked?
  • Who else is in this space (patent owners are usually very different than your market-based expectations)Having the most highly related prior art allows you and Thompson Patent Law to adjust or expand your claims, minimize the number and severity of future office actions, and keep your costs under control.

Ultimately, effective prior art research is crucial to spotting opportunities and risks, maximizing your ROI, and building Litigation Quality Patents.