Importance of a Prior Art Search

As a patent engineer, a study on the current situation in the patent sector reveals a lack of discipline in the patent drafting methods. Although it is said that “a person having ordinary skill in the art” would understand the concept, most of the patents are drafted in a manner in which even a person blessed with good skills in the art would find it difficult to understand. 

The aforementioned statement is never an offense to the intelligence or ability of anyone involved in this business. The actual requirement is a change of approach in understanding every nook and corner of a client’s disclosure or in popular language ‘an invention’ regardless of the fact whether it’s a single sheet note or a multiple sheet document. Every patent engineer should spend ample time on understanding the client’s invention before starting a prior-art search. 

The prior-art search which is universally accepted as the first step in a patent process should be treated with absolute focus and the time allotted for such a search has to be utilized to its maximum. It is an underlying fact that the prior art search process itself actually gives us a broader idea about the invention at hand and it effectively simplifies the drafting process. A proper patent draft is a balance of broadening and limiting the claims and to make it understandable for a person ordinarily skilled in the art. It is always a good practice to strategically draft complicated technical issues at some points in a draft in order to get a patent but its best accepted not to include a multiplicity of such occurrences.

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