The main patentability requirements for an invention in France, before the French Patent Office, in Europe, before the European Patent Office, as well as in most countries over the world are novelty and inventive step.
To comply with these requirements, it is therefore necessary to have a good knowledge of the state of the art in the technical field of the invention while drafting the patent application, so as to define the scope of the invention for an efficient protection.
The prior art search in the domain of the invention, recommended before filing a patent application, provides a quasi exhaustive knowledge of the state of the art in the domain of the invention, with respect to patent documents.
Searching among patents also allows to build a pool of documents, likely to be opposed to a patent during an opposition procedure before the European Patent Office. The ground for opposition can be the lack of novelty and/or inventive step of an opposed patent with respect to one or several documents found during prior art search.
During a freedom to operate study, searching among patents can also be used in order to find documents likely to anticipate a patent preventing the working of a particular product or process protected by this patent.
Thanks to the technological or competitive watch, patents filed in a specific field or by a specific applicant can be received on a regular basis, weekly or monthly depending on the choice.
The technological evolution in a particular field can be controlled by such a watch. The watch is also very useful to follow the activity of a specific competitor.