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SE-11853 Stockholm
tel: +46 (0)8 663 55 10

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Validity Search

A validity search aims at finding answer to the question whether a patent may have been falsely granted.

Someone seeing their business being hindered by someone else's patent sometimes consider starting a process trying to invalidate the patent. Generally, this situation is preceeded by one party telleing the other one that he is infringing.

In order to succeed in having a patent invalidated it is neccessary to prove that the patent never should have been granted. One way to prove this is to show that the patented invention lacks novelty or inventive step. In order to gather this evidence, it is common to have someone perform a validity search (also known as invalidity search).

The validity search is an attempt to find documents challenging novelty that where not found at the prior art search performed at the patent office. Surprisingly often, highly relevant documents are found during this "second patent search". The result of a validity search often strenghtens your position of negotiation, and sometimes even remove your opponent's best argument.

We are often consulted as a last resort - when prior searches haven't produced satisfiable results, costs has risen and time has become short. We do not recommend anyone to wait consulting us.

Our search tools cover documents published worldwide. We recommend a broad search with us before contacting search institutes specialized on regional searches. Should the search have to be extended later on, we can given our knowledge in the specific field, recommend which regions and institutes to choose.

Scope and price of this type of search must be estiamted from case to case. Please contact us for an estimate.

How not to interpret a validity search

Please note that the validity search does not provides a "guarantee" the invalidation of the patent in question. We present the patents claiming the closest technique and give our opinion upon the relevance of these patents. We cannot predict the verdict of patent litigation cases.

How to get a patent invalidated

The legal process for invalidating a patent is country specific.

In Sweden the process depends on whether the opposition time (invändningstiden), a period of 9 months starting with the published grant of the patent, has expired or not.

Within the opposition time, one may oppose to the Swedish Patent and Registration office (PRV). PRV may then re-examine the validity of the patent if the opposing party presents material indicating that the patent never should have been granted.

After the opposition time, one must turn to the Stockholm City Court (Stockholms Tingsrätt) with a patent nullity suit.