Patentability of inventions
There are three requirements to obtaining a patent for an invention:
- inventivity / non-obviousness
- technical applicability
An invention is considered to be novel if it is not part of the state of the art. This term refers to all information which was publicly available at the moment that the patent application was filed for the first time. Inventivity (or non-obviousness) means that the invention is not obvious for a person skilled in the art. Inventivity is less easy to ascertain in an objective way than novelty.
The aim of a novelty search is to find material (“prior art”) which could be damaging to the novelty of the invention. External characteristics of novelty-damaging material (language, form of publication, country of origin, time of publication) are not relevant.
For novelty searches we use public and commercial patent databases, technical or scientific databases, encyclopedias, handbooks, textbooks and of course the Internet.