Prior art is any piece of information that has been made available to the public before the date of filing of a patent application*. As the claimed invention in a patent application will be judged with reference to the prior art, it is important to consider where your invention lies in the context of what has come before it.

It is likely that you will already have some knowledge of systems or processes similar to that of your invention, and a patent attorney will draft your patent application with these prior art technologies in mind. However, there is value in undertaking a dedicated prior art search before deciding to go ahead with a patent application.

Specifically, a targeted search can be used to more effectively anticipate objections that could arise from a patent office, which will enable you to construct your patent application in a way that either defends against these objections or avoids them entirely. You may also identify prior art that would stop you from acquiring a granted patent, thereby enabling you to adjust your strategy or avoid filing a patent application altogether.

At Scintilla, we can provide a prior art search before undertaking the drafting of a patent application. Typically, a prior art search will include searching patent literature, and where appropriate non-patent literature.

As patent attorneys we can also effectively evaluate how your invention will perform in view of the results and factor these considerations into the drafting of the application. It is worth stating that a prior art search is an optional procedure, and we will be able to advise on the best strategy based on your specific circumstances.

If you would like more information on prior art searching please feel free to contact us at Scintilla via hello[@] scintilla-ip[.]com or via LinkedIn at


*Or the “priority date” of the patent application if a priority claim has been made. A priority claim can enable a later filed application to be judged as though it had been filed at the filing date of an earlier filed application for the same subject matter. It should be noted that specific conditions must be met for a valid priority claim to be made.