Patentability Searches – Starting at £875 ex VAT

Fixed-price professional search services for identifying potentially relevant published patent documentation prior to investment in a patent application.

We recognise that evaluating and protecting the intellectual property (IP) associated with a new product or process can be a confusing, if not daunting, task for many individuals and businesses. Patents are often – though not always – the most appropriate means of protecting an invention, but how do you begin to assess an invention’s novelty or originality before committing to the more substantial investment associated with a professionally drafted patent application?

Our affordable pre-filing search service (starting at £875 ex VAT for a 3-hour search) adopts a structured approach aimed at reducing – though not eliminating – the inherent uncertainties associated with the patent process in particular; thus allowing you to make more informed decisions on IP protection in general.  No patent search – regardless of the searching budget available – can ever be 100% conclusive, not least due to the 18-month delay between filing and publication of a patent application; however our pre-filing search service is a pragmatic solution for mitigating risks at a sensible price point.

This service includes:

  • An initial consultation with one of our fully qualified Chartered UK and European Patent Attorneys all of whom have a minimum of 15 years’ experience, and hold a scientific degree. That consultation – be it in person, by email, telephone, Skype® etc – enables our attorneys to capture and understand the necessary technical information relating to your invention; and to gain an appreciation of the surrounding commercial context. This ensures that our advice is commercially relevant and tailored to your individual requirements.
  • A preliminary patentability search carried out by one of our patent attorneys (and/or a vetted professional third party provider) based on the core inventive concept of your invention. The aim of this search is to locate potentially relevant prior-published patent documentation that may represent a barrier to you obtaining granted patent protection for your invention.
  • A jargon-free report on the results of the search. The most relevant documents located by the preliminary patentability search are critically assessed by our patent attorneys and all findings are summarised in a report with accompanying advice and clear recommendations for any follow up actions.
  • Reassurance that all information you disclose to us remains confidential.  See here for further details.

The advantages of our pre-filing service include:

  • Risk management – if the patentability conclusions of our report are positive, this allows you to invest in a professionally prepared patent application with a greater degree of confidence that there is no obvious barrier to you obtaining a granted patent.
  • Invention Scoping – identifying the most relevant prior-published patent documentation – known as the “closest prior art” – can be invaluable to the patent attorney drafting any subsequent patent application. This knowledge helps the attorney to clearly differentiate your invention from the surrounding prior art and hence better define the legal scope of protection to which you may be entitled. Ultimately, this can lead to a more cost-efficient route to grant by avoiding the need for substantial amendment and/or protracted argumentation with patent examiners.
  • Cost Saving – if the patentability conclusions of our report are negative, e.g. because particularly relevant prior-published patent documentation is located by our search, then the more substantial costs associated with a professionally prepared patent application can be avoided. Whilst there can be deterrent value in having pending (i.e. not granted) patent rights, if the prospects of obtaining granted patent protection with a commercially useful scope of protection are deemed to be questionable, then a cost-benefit analysis might lead
    to the conclusion that patent protection is not appropriate. The consequent cost savings can be used to fund the protection of more appropriate forms of intellectual property rights such as registered designs and trade marks.
  • Added Value – where appropriate, the conclusions provided in our jargon-free report are supplemented with relevant commercial advice, e.g. on potential additional or alternative forms of protection.  You therefore benefit from a more complete overview of your intellectual property position.

Our pre-filing service may not be appropriate in all cases. For example, you may already be satisfied with your own knowledge of the prior art, and the other forms of intellectual property rights associated with your invention. You may also be content to incur the costs associated with filing a patent application notwithstanding the possibility that relevant prior art already exists, e.g. because pending patent rights provides a deterrent effect on potential competitors. Such an approach is perfectly valid provided that you proceed with an appreciation of the possible risks and uncertainties involved.

Finally, for inventions which you (or we) deem to be unusually complex, or which you (or we) believe are of outstanding commercial importance, it may be prudent to extend the search time to a full day (for £1,200 ex VAT), or 2 days (for £2,000 ex VAT).  Such circumstances may require a more protracted initial consultation, and more in depth searching and analysis falling outside the scope of our £875 fixed fee service. Please contact us if you wish to discuss our searching services in more detail.

Please note that responding to additional general queries or providing advice in relation to matters not specifically mentioned above would incur additional costs consistent with the amount of professional time incurred. For example, providing advice relating to the protection of your intellectual property rights (or those of third parties) in the UK or abroad, or advising on infringement issues. We are always happy to provide cost estimates for conducting additional work upon request.

Disclaimer:

Cameron Intellectual Property strives to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the patentability searches it performs. However, due to the subjective nature of performing such searches; the period of time between patent applications being filed and published; and other factors outside our control (such as the potential for databases being incomplete, or documents being misclassified), it is not possible to guarantee that a search of this type is exhaustive or error free.  Therefore, it is to be understood that our search is provisional and advisory in nature.

Any Questions?

Contact us to arrange an initial no-obligation consultation.

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