Shifting sands: rethinking prior art search


Andrea Walsh

Competitive patent intelligence has been redefined under the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011. Andrea Walsh looks at the best strategies in this new environment.

While patents have long been recognised as essential in prior art searching, their significance has increased due to new opportunities under the America Invents Act (AIA) to challenge both pending and recently granted patents.

As patent holders and challengers prepare for the effect these opportunities will have on innovation, R&D and patent filing strategies, one implication is certain: competitive patent intelligence has become essential.

Third parties now have the opportunity to affect how a competitor builds or changes its IP assets through pre and post-issuance patent challenges. This article addresses these changes by focusing on the necessity of monitoring and assessing competitors’ patents by rethinking the definition of prior art (PA) and PA searches.

Prior art, AIA, patent filing, USPTO, Notice of Allowance