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State of the Art Search

A state of the art search refers to looking up publicly available information centered on patents, design literature, intellectual property (IP), and other areas related to innovation. This process can help innovators identify existing IP to avoid future infringement, as well as provide information that can help shape business strategies and plans.

For example, an innovator might have performed a state of the art search and found the landscape free of IP pitfalls. They could then use the information further to learn about how others have overcome obstacles (such as by reading editor notes on patent applications), determine possible areas of advancement (and which to avoid), and establish business models in the most productive, efficient way.

Other Terms for State of the Art Search:

  • Prior art search
  • Landscape search
  • Patent landscape
  • Collection search
  • Competing art search

Why is a State of the Art Search Important?

A state of the art search is important for several reasons, all of them sharing one common theme: to make the innovation process as efficient as possible. Whether a person or company is looking to establish a new technology area, improve upon existing technologies or apply more detail to the research and development (R&D) process, this search provides many benefits.

By performing this search, an innovator can paint a picture of how their own idea fits into the landscape. They can determine who their competitors are, and either try and beat them or collaborate with them, what the existing technologies are, and how to apply this knowledge to calculate the pros and cons of their path forward.

While anyone can look up information in the public domain, it can be costly and time-consuming to sift through different sources and cross-reference their results. A better way is to use a central database that already provides information in one central repository, allowing them to connect various data points and leverage this intelligence in a smart, comprehensive manner.