Effective, protective rights in the area of intellectual property require regularly the novelty of the claimed subject-matter. Novelty means that said subject-matter is not to be found within the documented knowledge of mankind.
Knowledge does not disappear, but is often to be found elsewhere.
International research, study and subsequent presentation and evaluation of knowledge is one of the major activities of all patent attorneys.
The respective research can be classified according to the necessary amount of effort:
A spot-research is carried out by searching a specific feature or title within international data-banks. Such a query provides a first impression as far as use and publicity of said term or feature is concerned.
Within a cursory research several terms or features will be searched for in varied combinations in international data-banks; documents will be selected by title and/or abstract and reviewed. Thus a clear statement about where and how the respective features / terms might be known is provided.
A collision-research for a term/feature comprises a search, directed at a specific, technical area in combination with specific countries, searching for valid, protective rights, combined with spot-researches and cursory researches. Such a research allows a much more precise evaluation of necessary licenses as well as potentially obtainable protective rights. Such research should be taken into consideration, if the respective term/feature is commcercially important and considered as very profitable.
A research for free prior art is the encompassing quest for all embodiments of an idea, which are long-known and represent dependably a state of art, that can not be subject to protective rights of third parties. Such information will be assembled from international data-banks, literature and so forth and a comprehensive checklist of allowed methods, devices, products and uses will be prepared, wherein said objects can be effectively shown to be free, usable prior art. Such a research comprises all types of researches previously described. The effort and expense is considerable.
Summing up, a concluding research is impossible; that is, why we recommend especially important and intensive research to be carried out in combination with an appointed budget. If conveniant, in combination with a preliminary report once 50% of the budget have been reached. Such will allow you to limit and control the risk of costs and proceed stepwise.