An Invalidity/Validity search is a comprehensive prior-art search performed to invalidate or validate the claims of an in-force patent.
This search is conducted to challenge a patent using pre-grant or post-grant opposition option or as a defense to an infringement lawsuit filed by the patent holder. This search can also be performed to evaluate the strength of the patent for licensing and acquisition negotiation.
Invalidity/Validity search focuses on references or products that were in the public domain before the critical date i.e. the effective filing date of the patent. It is a world-wide search conducted to uncover potential prior-arts including patents or published applications and non-patent literature.
This exhaustive search process includes detailed analysis of the file history of the patent to understand the arguments put forth during the prosecution stage of the patent and its reason of allowance. Thence, a search strategy is formulated to uncover relevant references that can invalidate the claim(s) of the patent on grounds of novelty and/or obviousness. A precise analysis of the search result is executed to report references that were not cited during the prosecution of the patent.
An Invalidity/Validity report includes a claim-mapping analysis that clearly maps out the prior art against the asserted claims.