Failure to consider related inventions and technologies
Many people believe that they are the first person to come up with their invention and that there is nothing “out there” that is related to it. However, sometimes this is not the case and individuals often discover during the patent application process that others have thought of a similar invention a few years prior to their current invention.
Accordingly, it may be a good idea for individuals to hire a patent professional to search for prior art. There is no guarantee that a patent professional will find all relevant prior art, however, a good prior art search may give individuals more insight into the scope and breadth of his or her invention. Though, the Patent laws in the United States do not require an inventor to search for prior art, searches for prior art oftentimes prove beneficial.
For example, I once advised a client who wanted to patent his invention to obtain a prior art search. I advised him that he could benefit from obtaining a prior art search, which he ultimately decided was in his best interest. After I performed the search, it became clear that there were many patents that anticipated the client’s invention.
As such, the prior art search saved the client time and money because, in the end, he only spent a fraction of the cost it would have taken to file a patent application. Most importantly, the client saved himself a lot of time.