What is a prior art ?
Anything that proves your invention already exists in the public domain is called prior art.
Prior art can be anything that exists in the public domain. For ex: , a video, a brochure, a patent, an article, a photograph, a comic strip are all considered to be prior art if it is relevant to your invention. Even scholarly thesis kept in the library of a university can be considered prior art, provided the thesis is publicly accessible.
What is a prior art search ?
An invention is patentable only if it fulfils all the criteria of patentability. Prior art search is conducted to determine if an invention is novels and non-obivous, or not.
What are the benefits of a prior art search ?
A prior art search uncovers knowledge that exists prior to the invention. Knowledge discovered in a prior art search helps an inventor get an accurate idea of novelty and non-obviousness of his invention. This can enable an inventor to rework his invention and patent application to get the patent granted.
Conducting a prior art study at the beginning of your research can enable you to detect existing developments in your area and potentially save time and money.
A prior art search can also serve as the basis for a state-of-the-art study to understand a technical area before beginning research work.