Why should I search?

More than 40 million patent documents have been published, with almost a million new disclosures added each year.

Each patent document has a unique identifying number and includes a detailed description of an invention, usually with drawings, and information about the inventor and applicant.

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Obtaining competitive product information

You can search patent databases to find:

all patents owned by a competitor
technical details of another system (if patented)
all patents on a particular topic, product or technology
details of technology that can possibly be licensed

Reasons to search

Performing a search prior to applying is vital as it helps you to:

determine whether you are infringing someone else's IP
learn about the competition or for research purposes
determine who owns an item of IP
check that your IP is not being infringed
obtain product information on your competitors