Before applying for a standard patent, you should conduct a search. The search will show whether there is anything similar in the market place which may affect the likelihood of your patent being granted.
Your invention must be kept secret until you have applied for patent protection. You can still talk to your employees, business partners or advisers about your invention, but make it clear that the information is to be kept confidential.
Searches can be conducted using online databases for patents or by an IP Professional.
No cost for a search conducted yourself.
Costs are variable for a search conducted by an IP professional.
Length of search process
There is no set time for the search to be conducted.