Searches are important
Tips on online searches
Prior Art Search (5,34 MB) information brochure
IP searches can save time, effort and, ultimately, money. They can help avoid duplication of research and development already contained in patent literature. Regular searches in the databases may also keep you from infringing other IP rights.
IP searches are specifically important before filing a utility model application, since a utility model is entered into the official Register without checking all substantive requirements for an effective IP right. However, you will only benefit from a legally valid utility model if your invention complies with these requirements.
Searching within the databases of the DPMA
You should carefully search the state of the art in order to reduce the risk of subsequent cancellation. The state of the art is the yardstick for assessing the 'novelty' requirement. For this purpose, you can use the DPMA’s free patent database DEPATISnet, containing more than 80 million patent publications from around the world.
Espacenet, the database of the European Patent Office, is also available free of charge.
Classification of technical IP rights
The International Patent Classification (IPC) allows a systematic search for official publications relating to technical IP rights.
The IPC hierarchically structures the entire technical knowledge. This classification is used by most patent authorities worldwide in order to assign documents to the respective field of technology. This makes the IPC an important search tool. By using IPC symbols, you can search within global data stocks independent of the publication language.
Searching for the state of the art, monitoring IP activity of competitors or analysing other issues: searching by using IPC places offers a range of options to develop and specify search strategies.
Picture 1: iStock.com/ldprod, Picture 2: iStock.com/mihailomilovanovic
Last updated: 23/11/17