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Novelty search

The first condition of patentability is that the invention must be new. You should always find an answer to whether your invention is new before submitting your application, since patenting costs can be considerable and unnecessary payments can thus be avoided. You can ask us to carry out a novelty search for you and to find out whether your idea or invention is new.

The scope of the search depends on the time used to carry out the search. The more searches are made the more likely it becomes to find possible novelty bars. Typically it takes one or a couple of working days to carry out a search. If there are clear obstacles to an invention, they are generally found during the first day of the search. Therefore a search period of one day may provide a reasonably comprehensive scope for the novelty search. If a complicated invention is concerned or a more comprehensive search is required, then more time is needed for the search.

You can choose a fixed-price novelty search or a wider novelty search charged by the hour.

  • A fixed-price novelty search contains approximately one working day for the search. You can request such a search if the invention is so clear that you can define its essential features in a list or a preliminary claim. Thus, the examiners do not have to start the procedure by defining the essential features but can proceed directly to the database searches according to the order.
  • In a novelty search charged by the hour , the examiners use the time that the parties have set in advance. You should request this search if you need a novelty search that is much broader then the fixed-price one, or if your invention is still in its initial stages and you are not yet aware of its essential features.

Please note that we do not perform requested novelty searches of patent applications or patents if the PRH as the patent authority has already carried out a novelty search of the application or its priority application. Neither do we carry out novelty searches for utility models or utility model applications if the PRH as the patent authority has already processed the application. You may request an official utility model search for a registered utility model or a pending application.

Outcome of the search

The aim of a requested novelty search is to search for possible obstacles to patenting. The novelty search will reveal publications with technical solutions that are similar to those disclosed in the request, or closely resemble them. The search report includes information on databases, patent classes and key words used in the search as well as a list of cited documents.

Cited patent documents are generally available in the free patent databases, such as Espacenet. You can also order copies of all documents, or only of other documents than patent documents against payment.

In addition to the search, you may request a comment on the contents of the five most relevant cited documents. There is a fee for this service. In such comments, we reveal the features of the invention cited in the documents but we will not advise on the patentability of the invention.

How long does the search take?

  • Fixed-price novelty search: about 2 weeks
  • Novelty search charged by the hour: about 3 weeks

If you need quick answers, you can ask us to carry out an online preliminary novelty search.
Read more about the online preliminary novelty search.

Please observe that possible work queues within a particular technical field and the holiday season can prolong the estimated delivery time.


  • Fixed-price novelty search : € 1160 + VAT
  • Novelty search charged by the hour : basic fee € 200 + € 160/hour + VAT
    • You can set an upper limit for the number of hours or the amount of money spent on the search. However, two or three hours is seldom enough when you need reliable results; an an extensive examination requires at least 6-10 hours of work. If there are numerous patents in a particular technical field or if the technology is complicated, the examiner needs to spend more time on the search than when examining simpler inventions.
  • possible comments: € 400 + VAT
  • possible copies of cited documents: € 5/document + VAT
  • invoicing charge: € 6.50 + VAT

Read more in our price list.

How to order

Place your order and add a clear, logical and simple assignment to it so that the patent examiner can immediately start working with your order.

A well-prepared assignment provides the best and most reliable results.

Include the following in your order:

  • Fixed-price novelty search :
    • Detailed description of the invention. A fixed-price search may relate to only one inventive idea. Provide a detailed description showing the background of the invention, the problem the invention solves and the essential features of the invention. The description of essential features can be
      • a list of essential features of the invention or
      • a draft of an independent claim.
  • Novelty search charged by the hour :
    • The description of the invention, or a short account of the invention and the features of the invention, such as the invention disclosure, preliminary patent application, preferably with a drawing.
    • The amount of money used for the search. The time used for the search can be based on the maximum costs indicated in your request. Our consulting engineers will be pleased to assist you in calculating the appropriate maximum costs (examination time).

How to send your request

Send your order by mail or secure email. See our contact details.
Instructions on secure email.

Open the order form

Printable version Latest update 08.01.2024