Do the results of a knock-out research guarantee the patentability of an invention?
While prior art searches can identify the most obvious risks, they do not necessarily provide exhaustive information on prior disclosures such as:
– the time it takes for patent applications to become available to the public after they are filed,
– delay in updating databases,
– oral communications,
– prior uses and internet disclosures not tracked,
– incomplete/inaccessible registers for some countries…
that may compromise the novelty of your invention.
Furthermore, patentability will depend on various additional criteria such as non-excludability, industrial applicability, sufficiency of description (see our “Patent application” page). This is why a prior art search does not give an absolute guarantee of the patentability of an invention.
It should be noted that a knock-out search does not necessarily identify the disclosures that you yourself would have made about the invention, without a confidentiality agreement.
You are the best person to know if you have disclosed your invention and in what form.