This article explains what invalidity searches are all about and what differentiates them from other patent searches. Given that the goals and much of the actual searching methodology are the same for all searches, the author will explore the differences between invalidity searching and other types of searches. An invalidity search is essentially a late-stage patentability search. However, invalidity searches can be extremely tedious. It is one thing to review thousands of patents by titles, abstracts, indexing, and figures, but it is another to have to evaluate and characterize details of so many prior art documents. When good prior art is not found quickly, these searches can seem to drag on. Only occasional does the tedious evaluation process lead to a remarkable result.
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