Don’t waste your time – patent search 101!

Focus speakers: Bodil Sollie Hjelsvold and Kjersti Staven-Garberg. Photo:

There is a lot of exciting information in the patent literature. Why try to invent the wheel again? Most things in technology is described in existing patents. By having a look, you can saved time and money! Frustrations can be avoided, maybe the solution to the problem can be found in a patent. Unfortunately, this opportunity is not used enough.

Text: Bodil Sollie Hjelsvold, Kjersti Staven-Garberg. 


Common comments we hear are:

  • I have been in this game for a long time, I know my field. I have never seen something like this before, it does not exist and I am sure it can be patented.

Patents have to be filed before they are published. All patents are published after 18 months even if they do not go through. Therefore, there are a lot of patents that have never been on the marked because the project came to a halt.

  • We are leading in this field of technology, and we do not need patents to secure or position as marked leaders.

That is fine, but what if the competitors have a different strategy? If they invent something before you, decide to patent the idea, your company may have a problem with infringement.

  • Patenting is expensive.

Yes, it may be. But what price are you willing to pay to have the sole right to the invention on the Norwegian/European/American marked? Patenting the invention is an investment and will give a competitive advantage.

  • If you are to patent the invention, you have to explain and publish everything. I would rather keep parts of it secret.

It is correct that the invention has to be described. According to law, the invention must be sufficiently explained so that a specialist could recreate the invention. However, everything does not have to be explained, the person trying to copy the invention will have to strive for a little while.  For example, it is not common to add work drawings to the patent application. Keeping the invention as a secret can be difficult, as people quit and people talk.


Are you curious about your competitors?  Do you want to know where patents are valid? Want to find free technology?

Acapo has long-time experience with consulting in the field of IP, on Tuesday 7.11 Bodil Sollie Hjelsvold and Kjersti Staven-Garberg will have a presentation on our Launchpad Day on the topic how to navigate in the patent databases. You also have the opportunity to book a time after the presentation to have a talk with someone about your specific issue.

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