What type of researches are there?
The state-of-the-art search provides a broad overview of a defined technological field as it covers all or a broad range of patent and non patent literature relating to it. It is mainly used for establishing the starting point and direction of new research and development projects.
The patentability search is narrower in scope than a state-of-the-art search. It is done with reference to defined field of technology, such as that contained in an invention disclosure, for identifying relevant prior art for evaluating the novelty and/or non-obviousness of the disclosed invention.
The results of a patentability search are very useful for drafting stronger or better patent claims, and may also reveal potential conflicts with patents owned by others and/or the possibilities for getting around them.
Infringement search, also know as "right to use", "freedom to operate" or "clearance" search is done to determine if any unexpired (in-force) patents would be infringed by launching a product on the market or by otherwise practicing the invention in question.
If the infringement search uncovers a patent that poses an infringement risk, then a validity search may be performed to help determine whether the patent so uncovered is valid. It is conducted after a patent is granted to assess whether the patent was properly granted. It looks for any publication (prior art) that can be used to prove that one or more claims of the patent are invalid.
An index or name search is done to find out the names of inventors, researchers or companies in whose names patents are filed, issued or assigned.

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