What is the objective of an invalidation search?
Patent invalidation searches are conducted to identify the patent and non-patent literature that can destroy the claims of an invention rendering them non-novel and obvious, thus killing the patent. Invalidity search is an extensive search of relevant prior arts after the patent has been granted. The main objective of the invalidity search is to identify the relevant prior arts that were overlooked by the examiner and has the potential to invalidate the patent. Invalidity search can also be used to validate the claims of a patent.
Who should choose the invalidity search and when?
Establishing market dominance in the field of technology is an expensive affair since the cost of developing the new technology along with the cost of patenting is gigantic. Prima facie the only option to achieve the monopolistic power in the business is by developing the new technologies. This is often not possible if the company or the individual is financially challenged. So, the next best option to achieve market dominance or monopoly in business is by killing or invalidating the patents of the competitor. The invalidity search can be proved to be an effective tool in case of an infringement suit, patent portfolio assessment, and killing the competition in business.
Patent Infringement Suit:
Under the allegation of patent infringement, the accused party for infringement can use the invalidation search to cancel the patent in question, thus letting the allegation of infringement baseless. Invalidation search can help in invalidating the claims of the patents either by proving that claims of the patents are not new or obvious in nature or fall under the statutory exceptions, by providing sufficient evidence of prior arts and subsequently the patent in question will be revoked.
In the other scenario, under the allegation of patent infringement, the party in question can use the invalidation search to establish the fact that their invention is new and non-obvious in nature thus it is not infringing the patent.
Patent Portfolio Assessment:
Invalidity search can be used as a voluntary step by any company, organization, or individual to assess the strength of its patents. Invalidation search report stating the claims of a patent novel, non-obvious, and the fact that they do not fall under any statutory exception of patents, establishes the strength of the patent and this makes the patent more valuable. A patent grant certificate along with an invalidity search report stating the claims of the patent are novel and non-obvious are the strongest evidence of the strength of a patent. A patent is likely to bring more value through licensing if it is immune to any infringement suits.
Clearing the Competitive Field:
Patent invalidation search is an effective weapon when it comes to diminishing the patents of competitors. Invalidity search not only dictates whether the claims of a granted patent are non-novel and obvious in nature, but also whether it falls under the ambit of statutory exceptions for grant of patents such as the invention was already in use or available for sale or exhibited to the public more than twelve months prior to filing the patent application, or the patent was obtained wrongfully or fraudulently.
The main aim here is to unearth the prior arts and facts that were overlooked by the patent office during the prosecution of said patent, which has the potential to kill the granted patents of the competitors thus clearing the competitive business field.