It is a common phenomenon for the Prior-Art Search Service Provider to discourage the inventors from searching on their own. They might argue that it is best to give the legal works to the legal experts. But if you are an expert in this field of engineering and science, outsourcing the prior art search might not always be the best idea for using the restricted budget. You might be well equipped to carry out an efficient prior art search by yourself with help from professionals. 

Is It Possible To Do A Prior Art Search All By Yourself?

In the past, most experienced Prior-Art Search Professionals have access to the USPTO resources than the ordinary inventor or person. They implement different techniques for efficiently searching various patent databases. But due to the presence of the internet, almost 90% of the information is nearly free. Every time you access the USPTO website, the search rooms might be literally or virtually empty, recommending that people do not use this one much anymore. Thus you can do the prior art search efficiently on your own since most of the best searching tools are accessible for free.

When Will You Still Require A Professional?

You will be qualified enough to do your research or prior art searching of the databases if you are an experienced innovator who is usually familiar with the current work in their field. But this does not indicate that you require going through the entire patent process on your own. If you can conduct the prior patent art search for yourself, you will still need a patent lawyer who will assist create a strategy for your patent and analyze the patentability. 

On the contrary, if you are working in the technology sector where you do not include any broad experience, you should hire someone researching on your behalf. 

Advantages Of Carrying Out A Prior Art Search

You can familiarize the current prior art while following the below six advantages.

  • Ignore submitting the patent applications with claims that will get rejected and will not get any patent approval
  • Create a strong claim of the patent strategy before filing the patent application and decrease the broad amendment chances.
  • Understand how the concept will fit well into the technological field
  • Decide whether your discovery is novel when compared to other public prior art searches.
  • Encounter for the prior art closes while drafting for the patent application. For instance, you should describe the benefits or enhancements over the related prior art search. It will help you to persuade the patent office authorities that your invention will be non-obvious.
  • Be prepared to discuss the discovery with the patent searching expert and explain what elements of the work will get an instant patent.

How To Carry Out An Efficient Prior Art Search?

A prior art search of patents centers around checking various databases to identify if someone else has already introduced such an idea, concept, product, design, or technology similar to yours. Below are the five significant steps you need to follow to ensure that the prior art search is comprehensive.

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Search For The Patent Databases

You can use the below-searching tools for starting the search.

  • USPTO searching interface
  • Google patents
  • European patent office searching interface
  • WIPO searching interface
  • Patent lens

Most inventors find out the classification system of the USPTO is not specifically useful for prior art searching. We will not recommend implementing it as the primary means for guiding your search. You can make a recommendation of 10 patent documents for every keyword and then search the other patent documents for cross-reference. These are known as backward and forward cross-referencing searches. 

For doing the backward and forward cross-referencing searches in the Google patents, you can

  • Scroll at the bottom
  • Open the required page for the related patent that you have found.
  • Refer to the different sections for referenced by and patent citations
  • Scan the lists to find out if any of the titles will appear relevant, or click on the links to review all of them in detail

To carry out a similar search in the searching interface of USPTO.

  • View the related documents of the patent
  • Scroll to the references cited section to look backward at the cited .documents in the patent that you have found
  • Click on the Referenced by to look forward at the patents that will cite the patent you have found.

You can also see the section for the Non Patent Citations. Indeed, it is not always easier to find these patent documents online, and you might be able to demand a copy from the patented office. 

Save All The Related Documents And Results

When you file the patent application, you will want to cite some of the most related prior art to the USPTO. If the patent authorities include all the related references at the disposal, you will end up having a strong patent. It will also ensure that you will satisfy all the ethical disclosure duties, good faith, and candor to report the prior art that will affect the claim’s patentability. Thus ensure to save the list of the relevant results and complete the document copies of them. 

Brainstorming The Chief Phrases About Describing The Invention 

To conduct a thorough prior art search, you will need to find out all the potential and possible key phrase combinations that might exist. There are different reasons why other applications and patents might implement these different keywords. They are as below.

  • The common terminologies accepted in the industry might have changed by now.
  • Different sectors implement different keywords to explain similar ideas.
  • Most owners translate the patent filings to English from other languages.


You can do the prior art search if you have enough knowledge in these segments. If you are confident enough to search by yourself, we will always recommend hiring Sagacious IP, who is undoubtedly a Prior-Art Search Specialist for this purpose.