- novelty search (a type of ‘prior art search’)
- examination of novelty; examination for novelty; examination as to novelty (GWIT)
- patentability search
nieuwheidsonderzoek = novelty search
Definition: Om te bepalen of het onderwerp van de octrooiaanvraag nieuw en inventief is, moet eerst worden vastgesteld wat de zgn. stand van de techniek is. De stand van de techniek is alles wat vóór de indiening van de octrooiaanvrage schriftelijk of mondeling openbaar toegankelijk is gemaakt. Het doel van het nieuwheidsonderzoek is deze stand van de techniek te achterhalen. Opgelet: in de EN en FR versie van het Europees Octrooiverdrag (art. 96) staat hiervoor "search" respectievelijk "recherche".
Definition: A "novelty search" is a search to find out whether an invention is genuinely novel or whether it is anticipated by "prior art" (i.e. technical information and knowledge available to the public before the patent application was filed) and is consequently not patentable. Its purpose is to find any earlier disclosure of an idea currently thought to be new, to determine whether the idea is new and inventive enough to merit a patent. For trade marks, a "novelty search" is carried out to determine whether a trade mark can be registered or whether it is the same as or similar to an existing trade mark and might therefore infringe an earlier trade registration.
Types of prior art searches
A "novelty search" is a prior art search that is often conducted by patent attorneys, patent agents or professional patent searchers before an inventor files a patent application. A novelty search helps an inventor to determine if the invention is novel before the inventor commits the resources necessary to obtain a patent. The search may include searching in databases of patents, patent applications and other documents such as utility models and in the scientific literature. Novelty searches can also be used to help an inventor determine what is unique about their invention. Anything not found in the prior art can be potentially patentable. Thomas Edison, for example, did not get a patent on the basic concept of the light bulb. It was already patented and therefore in the prior art. Instead, Edison got a patent on his improvements to the light bulb. These improvements included a very thin filament and a reliable technique for joining the white hot filament to the room temperature lead wires.
A novelty search is also conducted by patent examiners during prosecution of the patent application. For instance, examiner's search guidelines applicable to the United States are found in the U.S. Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP) 904.02 General Search Guidelines, Prior Art, Classification, and Search.