Prior art search

Patent prior art search

What is a patent prior art search?

A prior art search allows to check whether there are disclosures prior to your patent filing – other published patents, press articles, etc. – which could prevent you from patenting the invention.

The prior art search is therefore a necessary preliminary step to filing a patent application.

Indeed, although a prior art search cannot be exhaustive, it provides access to a large part of the patents filed and published in the field of the invention.

This search not only reveals the state of the art in the field of the innovation, it also allows the patent attorney to detect the parts of the invention that have already been protected or disclosed by third parties. In this case, when possible, our patent engineers suggest original alternative solutions that will make it possible for you to file a quality patent application. This is our job and it is part of the services offered by our intellectual property firm, Brandon IP.


In the event that you have done research on your own on one of the websites available online (such as the French Patent Office (INPI)’s patent database, Espacenet from EPO, PatentScope from WIPO, or Google Patents, among others), it is wise to rely on the expertise of our patent attorneys to support you in this process and carry out a prior art search. This is all the more useful because our prior art searches are systematically accompanied by an opinion on the patentability of the invention.

Our patent attorneys have great experience in the field of intellectual property and Brandon IP has the necessary tools to carry out targeted research, in France and internationally, in the appropriate patent databases.


Nevertheless, please remember that despite all the rigor brought by our teams to this type of service, international patent law which provides for a patent application publication a period of 18 months, does not make it possible to give an exhaustive character to a prior art search, since certain patents filed recently are not yet published and cannot be found at the time of the search.

Prior art search

Search process:

Based on the information provided by you, the patent attorney defines a search strategy and suggests keywords and international classifications to be used to optimize the efficiency of the search. Once this has been carried out, a very large number of documents may emerge that the attorney will sort out in order to present to you in his/her report, the documents considered as the most relevant and closest to your invention, as well as the conclusions and other recommendations it draws from it.


Also, at the end of this search, you will have a greater visibility on the prior art in the field of the invention and an opinion on the patentability of the invention. With this information, you will be able to define with our attorneys the most appropriate filing strategy for you.


In some cases, it may be necessary, in addition to the patent anteriority search, to also carry out a search among the publications which may have occurred in the field of the invention. The Brandon IP teams will then offer to conduct this dedicated search, which can be taken into account in your intellectual property strategy.

As well, if relevant documents are identified, we can advise you to carry forward certain results by a freedom to operate study targeted on a specific prior art.

These studies will allow you to knowingly engage on the innovation project and protect the inventions effectively, while protecting you from the possibility of being accused of infringement yourself.

In conclusion

An intellectual property process is an investment. The relevance of a prior art search determines the quality of your patent and therefore secures your investment by putting the odds on your side to patent the invention.

Beyond this first step of prior art search, Brandon IP accompanies you throughout your filing process:

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Value your patents!

A patent, a trademark, software, but also the know-how are valuable intangible assets which increase the value of the owner company. This is why Brandon IP is committed to ensuring that patents and other intellectual property rights are of high quality, notably when they are extended internationally.

Associated with Brandon Valorisation, a consulting firm in intellectual property valuation and monetization within the Brandon Group, we support you in the implementation of your strategy for the economic and financial valuation of your innovations and therefore of your company.

IP experts close to you and your expectations

Since 1866, Brandon IP, formerly known as Blétry Frères, has supported its clients in the protection and defense of their intellectual property rights. It is one of the oldest intellectual property firms in France. We support companies of all sizes and project holders in the protection of their inventions in a fully customized way and as closely as possible to their needs. As a guarantee of our expertise, Brandon IP is ranked among the best French IP law firms by Décideurs Magazine (Leaders League).

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Our patent team is composed of patent and trademark attorneys, experts in different technical fields as well as legal assistants. Our engineers are in charge of consulting, studies, prior art searches, drafting of patent applications, etc.

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To know more about our services, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Prior art search

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