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There are two main reasons, why a patent search should be done repetitively during the course of the invention process:
the international standard of publication of patent applications is to protect intellectual property documents from public access for at least 18 months post priority date. This period can be extended in certain circumstances. Therefore, there is always a “hidden” pool of documents, that will only become available for search at a future date.
a patent search is a process that involves the use and combination of large numbers of keywords and expressions, which cannot be thoroughly completed in one attempt.
Therefore, a patent search on an idea must be performed repeatedly and persistently.
Assuming you have an idea, and you would like to know if it is novel the logical next step is to perform a patent search covering relevant intellectual property databases.
Presently, most intellectual property organizations provide access to their databases via the world wide web.
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