Patent Infringement Search

An Infringement Search seeks to confirm that your new product won't infringe upon any in-force patents.

How Infringement Search Search differs from Clearance Search

An Infringement Search is similar to a Clearance Search or Freedom to Operate Search but there is a distinction. Infringement Searches and Clearance Searches both seek to ensure that new or planned products can be brought to market without fear of litigation from patent-holders. However, an infringement search limits itself to enforceable patents solely in the country where you plan to market the product. Another way to think of it is a Freedom to Operate search in just a single country. A Clearance Search takes a broader perspective and attempts to determine where you could legally market your product.

When to conduct a Patent Infringement Search

Ideally, you will conduct an Infringement Search very early in the product cycle to avoid wasting valuable R&D budget on a technology that you you could not commercialise. In fact, it can be useful to conduct a preliminary Patent Infringement Search at the same time you conduct a Novelty Search to avoid potential infringements and help direct product development. However, at the latest, you would want to confirm your new product doesn't infringe existing patents before moving into production.

Constructing claims for Patent Infringement Searches

Companies often wait too long before conducting an Infringement Search because they are unsure of exactly what final form the product will take. However, as soon as you have an indicative direction, it's best to create a set of claims for your embryonic product and test its legal viability with a Patent Infringement Search. Once you have started the Infringement Search it can be maintained throughout development and commercialisation with ongoing monitoring.

What a Patent Infringement Search includes and excludes

Since an Infringement Search is concerned only with enforceable patents, it searches only patent documents within the country where you intend to market your product. It excludes:

  • Expired patents
  • Patents in countries where you aren't marketing
  • Non-patent literature.

Why an Infringement Search is a wise early investment

It's never too early to conduct a Patent Infringement Search. Scientists and engineers tend to want to defer until their product takes a more concrete form but by then it can be too late. You may already have wasted precious research budget. Smart organisations conduct Infringement Searches early - and maintain them throughout the development and commercialisation process.

Learn more about Searching

Learn more about our other Patent Search services or contact Filament today to discuss your Infringement Search requirements.

ensure your new product won't infringe any patents