We produce an overview of known technology (the prior art) around an idea or a product: anything from a simple general survey to a deep analysis. The level of ambition is determined in consultation with you, and you can choose between various fixed-price packages and hourly charging. These differ in the amount of time that we have available, and this determines the extent of the investigation and the design of the report.
The more time we use, the more reliable is the result
A limited amount of time is sometimes sufficient for a satisfactory assessment of the technological situation. If nothing is found within this time, however, it does not necessarily mean that there is nothing relevant to be retrieved in the information sources. The more time we use, the greater is the probability that existing important material can be found.
A balance must always be made between budget and purpose, and our experience is important here, and enables us to give sound recommendations. Our reference point is case management at the European Patent Office (EPO). The diagram below illustrates how our various searches (described below) relate to EPO case management.
Naturally, we are in continual dialogue with you, and you can express your wishes about what sources we use, how we design the report, and the number of documents cited. Some typical descriptions of our packages are given below. Note, however, that we are happy to adapt the content and the form or reporting to your wishes.
A brief assessment of the area of technology. A list of related technology and brief summaries of the current technology are supplied in a brief report. This report provides an indication of the opportunities and risks, and what the next stage should focus on.
Basic novelty search
A more thorough search, primarily based on extracts from patents and patent applications, and may include information from other technical literature. The report contains a brief analysis and comments relating to the relevant area of technology.
Standard novelty search
A deeper investigation of the area of technology based not only on patent information but also technical literature, and including both abstract searches and full-text searches. A report with an analysis and comments concerning the connection between key features and cited prior art references is normally provided.
Extended novelty search
An investigation that is equivalent to one carried out by a national patent office, based on several different sources of information (not only patent information but also other technical literature). The investigation is often based on draft patent claims. A report that presents an exhaustive analysis and comments is provided.
This is a supplementary service to our investigations. Based on the documents that have been revealed by a novelty search, the analysis is extended with a preliminary assessment of patentability. The assessment is adapted according to the whether the search is based on a conceptual description of an invention or a proper set of claims.