Prior Art Search & FTO Report

Prior Art Search & FTO Report


Prior art is a reference of some type in some form (textual, visual, audio, etc.) which serves as clear proof that the invention you hold is not something unique. It is evidence that your invention is already well-known and not something unique. The objective of prior art search is to provide an overview of existing inventions and to discover the state of the art as well as to identify third party intellectual property rights. This is important in order to assess the chances of getting a patent for an invention granted as well as to minimize the risk of infringement in IP area.

Prior Art Research and FTO Report


It is not important that the prior art is present physically or is commercially available. It is enough that someone, somewhere, and at some time previously described, showed or made something that contains the use of a technology that is very similar to your invention.

Prior art could be found in many forms, for example – it a patent or some form of the printed publication including, but not limited to, research papers, trade journals, a college thesis, an advertisement, books, videos – basically anything that is available in the public domain and is public knowledge.

prior art search

A prior art could only invalidate a patent if it has been available to the public before the effective filing date of the patent. 

For example, a textbook that gives the idea of an invention can be considered as prior art but a textbook that has a revised version of the idea of an invention after the effective filing date of a patent application cannot be considered as prior art.

It is not vital in which language the prior art is described or how many publications of the same are available. The main interest is that the information can be accessed by the public. Thus, a small newsletter by a local company will have the same validity as that of a leading newspaper in a country, provided it is properly time-stamped.

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