A potential client wanted to file a worldwide patent portfolio relating to a specific and focused improvement to a particular class of products. The prototypes of the improvement had been demonstrated to increase the accuracy and efficiency of the particular class of machine.
The relevant market for the invention was focused in the United States as well as several Eastern and Western European countries. Therefore, the client was on the verge of spending a significant amount of money to begin the patenting process in a large number of these countries.
Given the focused nature of the invention and the prospect of the client paying filing and preparation fees all over the world, we recommended that a comprehensive patent search including the foreign countries of interest be conducted.
The search uncovered a reference that was about 100 years old. The reference depicted the general form of the invention in a way that would make it difficult to obtain a patent. However, it did not disclose the math and science behind the improvement that would allow an optimal form of the invention to be crafted and applied to different specific implementations of the class of machine.
The patent search and resulting information allowed the client to decide to save the worldwide prosecution and filing fees, and allowed the client to maintain the confidentiality of his more-detailed disclosure and focus time and resources on developing and protecting the product utilizing other legal and business methods.