How to Perform a Patent Invalidity Search? 

Patents Trademarks Business Technology Law Updates

Patent invalidity search

Patent searches are an important part of the business process and should be done before developing any new product or service. A patent search will tell you if anyone else has a patent on the proposed product or idea, as well as which countries’ patents would apply to your invention. This information is crucial in ensuring that you do not infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights while also protecting yourself from being sued for infringement by another company due to their patent having priority over yours in certain countries/jurisdictions where both companies operate.”

What is a patent invalidation search?

An exhaustive prior art search known as a patent invalidation search is carried out to either validate the applicant’s claim or invalidate the claim of the competitor’s patent. Such investigations are carried out to set up a defense against a patent infringement claim. In this kind of search, the priority date or date of priority of the patent application is crucial. Prior art materials, or disclosures submitted before the priority date of the relevant patent, are sought during the search.

This kind of research is typically carried out on behalf of third parties, or “opponents,” who contend that the patent awarded violates the rights of the other patents. The goal of this kind of search is to find previous art that invalidates the awarded patent that is now in effect.

The objective of the invalidity search

The objective of an invalidity search is to look for important prior art that has previously gone unnoticed by the patent examiner and to dispute another person’s patent to render it invalid. Instead of focusing on the entire document, as is the case with novelty searches, the search is typically focused on the language of the claims.

The competitor’s patent’s claim’s non-obviousness is examined as part of the invalidity search.

How to perform a patent invalidity search? 

The goal of the patent invalidity search is to look for important prior art that the patent examiner may have overlooked in the past and to dispute another person’s patent to render it invalid. Unlike novelty searches, which are based on the entirety of a patent document, the search is typically focused on the language of the claims rather than the entire text.

The non-obviousness of the innovation and claim in the competitor’s patent is examined as part of the invalidity search.

Validity search

The difference between invalidity and validity search, a patent validity search is a procedure to confirm if your product is protected by any patent. It’s important to check if someone has already patented the same product or similar products, to avoid legal issues with competitors.

Invalidation search

To be sure that you are not infringing on any existing patents, it is important to perform a patent invalidation search. The patent invalidation search is a process of checking if a patent is valid or not. It can be done using the USPTO’s online system called Patentscope, which allows users to search for patents by number or title, as well as view full-text documents from 1976 onward (there are some restrictions). You can also use Google Scholar and Lexis Nexis Academic ProQuest to conduct this kind of research.*

Note: We recommend doing both patent searching and patent invalidation searching when launching your business!

Types of patent invalidation searches

There are different types of patent invalidation searches. The most common type is a patent search using computer-assisted tools, which can be done at the USPTO website or through a private service provider. This type of search provides a list of all patents filed and granted by the USPTO on your specific product area within a certain timeframe, allowing you to see if any patents were filed by competitors.

Another type is an examination by an experienced attorney, who will review each claim in detail and determine whether there are grounds for invalidating it based on prior art (prior art refers to existing documents that describe similar inventions).

Invalid patents

Patents that are invalid due to lack of novelty, or obviousness.

Patents that are invalid due to lack of utility.

Patents that are invalid due to non-obviousness.

In addition, there are several reasons why a patent may be deemed invalid:

Outdated patents

Outdated patents are those that cover products that are no longer commercially available or cover products no longer used or sold.

Obviousness of the invention or a similar invention under the same category.

In most cases, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will not grant a patent if it is obvious to someone skilled in the art that an invention was previously invented or disclosed. This is known as “obviousness.”

For example, if you apply for a patent on a device that allows people to play games on their phones while they’re driving, but someone else already invented this same thing three years ago and patented it–you’re out of luck! The government won’t grant you any rights to your idea because it would be considered too obvious by other inventors who are familiar with existing technology.

Patent invalidation search is an important procedure to confirm if your competitor has any patents for their products so as not to infringe on any existing patents for your product. It is a process of finding out the validity of a patent by analyzing all the documents related to it.


In conclusion, a patent invalidation search is a very important procedure that you should not ignore. It helps you confirm if your competitor has any patents for their products so as not to infringe on any existing patents for yours.

Our team of advanced patent attorneys assists clients with patent searches, drafting patent applications, and patent (intellectual property) agreements, including licensing and non-disclosure agreements.

Advocate Rahul Dev is a Patent Attorney & International Business Lawyer practicing Technology, Intellectual Property & Corporate Laws. He is reachable at rd (at) patentbusinesslawyer (dot) com & @rdpatentlawyer on Twitter.

Quoted in and contributed to 50+ national & international publications (Bloomberg, FirstPost, SwissInfo, Outlook Money, Yahoo News, Times of India, Economic Times, Business Standard, Quartz, Global Legal Post, International Bar Association, LawAsia, BioSpectrum Asia, Digital News Asia, e27, Leaders Speak, Entrepreneur India, VCCircle, AutoTech).

Regularly invited to speak at international & national platforms (conferences, TV channels, seminars, corporate trainings, government workshops) on technology, patents, business strategy, legal developments, leadership & management.

Working closely with patent attorneys along with international law firms with significant experience with lawyers in Asia Pacific providing services to clients in US and Europe. Flagship services include international patent and trademark filings, patent services in India and global patent consulting services.

Global Blockchain Lawyers ( is a digital platform to discuss legal issues, latest technology and legal developments, and applicable laws in the dynamic field of Digital Currency, Blockchain, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and raising capital through the sale of tokens or coins (ICO or Initial Coin Offerings).

Blockchain ecosystem in India is evolving at a rapid pace and a proactive legal approach is required by blockchain lawyers in India to understand the complex nature of applicable laws and regulations.