New and innovative ideas are consistently and continuously generated globally. While the actual number of these ideas that have been submitted along with a patent application is limited, a tremendous number of applications have never the less been filed. Additionally, even if there is no formal recognition of certain inventions throughout international patent offices, many ideas may very well be documented in research journals or other academic catalogues.

It is the job of the International Searching Authority (ISA) to conduct a robust and comprehensive search of the existing literature and determine the plausibility (concerning novelty) of the applicant’s “new” idea. The ISA conducts this investigation with great precision and searches documents written in both English and a slew of other frequently used languages. The primary purpose of the search is to uncover potentially problematic similarities with previously existing materials and provide the inventor with an assessment of the likelihood of patenting his/her idea. The ISA will generally share its findings with the inventor within half a year’s time after the international patent application was filed. The inventor’s patent attorney will then assess the report and convey its implications to the inventor.


Howard M. Cohn & Associates has extensive and varied experience in all aspects of Intellectual Property law, with a unique specialty in patent and trademark preparation and prosecution. Schedule an appointment or call us at 800-613-1067.