Top 5 Things to Look for in Patent Research Outsourcing Partner

Top 5 Things to Look for in Patent Research Outsourcing Partner: Before an idea acquires patent protection, it goes through multiple processes. One such primary and essential step is prior art search. Often companies choose to partner with patent research outsourcing firms to obtain high-quality outcomes and save time and money. However, before joining hands with a patent research partner, companies must ascertain a few indispensable qualities in them. Therefore, this article talks about five things to look for in a patent research outsourcing partner.

Patent search and its Importance

Patent search or ideally called prior-art search is a process to check the novelty of an invention that involves searching and evaluating the existing prior arts. Patent office(s) have defined the patentability criteria that must be fulfilled by the respective invention for which one is seeking patent protection.

This is a time-consuming process that require high level of accuracy. Therefore, it is often recommended to seek services of the professionals who are experienced in carrying out such prior arts search assignments. With a comprehensive prior art search report, one can predict the fate of the patent application before getting involved in costly patent prosecution procedure.

5 Key Qualities to Look for in Patent Research Outsourcing Partner

  1. Ownership of a Patent

Every entity contributing to an innovation, including the patent research partner, is an integral part of the ownership. Although a person may conceive the patented idea—everybody contributing to the idea’s innovation is considered an inventor. When choosing the ideal patent research partner or organization, you must draft an agreement that denotes your idea’s ownership rights. This ensures that ownership issues do not arise in the future.

In the case of any changes, the invention and ownership can always be transferred to a concerned individual who buys the rights or is given the actual owner’s rights. Nevertheless, a clear agreement to show your idea’s validity is essential to track the progress from the patent filing process and further along the road.

  1. Commitment to Confidentiality

Before a patent is officially awarded, the idea remains vulnerable to public disclosure. Therefore, protecting the idea is important. Any negligence can result in an information leak that can harm the patent protection process. Therefore, businesses must ensure that their patent research partner is trustworthy. The procedures for the respective partner to validate a patent should not disclose confidential information. An idea can be safeguarded with a public disclosure clause before sharing the details with a patent research partner.

  1. Technical Competency

Another aspect that determines the efficacy of a patent research organization or partner is their technical competency. Businesses must assess the outsourcing firm’s track record of filing for patents and their efficiency in intellectual property management. It is recommended to consult a partner who is well-versed in the patent research and acquisition process. A technically sound research partner will be able to present the ideal approach for patent protection . They can also provide valuable advice and contribute towards innovation.

On the other hand, if the patent research partner is not competent in the field, businesses may end up wasting time and money before the beginning of the process to get patent right(s).

4. Effective Budget and Time Management

Businesses should always ensure that the research partner they choose is efficient enough to meet their budget constraints. Similarly, the outsourcing partner should be capable of adhering to the timeline set for research. However, organizations should refrain from getting lured by less-qualified patent research partners who charge less. Compromising on quality and non-adherence to timeframes can prove to be detrimental when considering just a low cost alternative.  

5. Effective Communication

A well-established and qualified patent research firm knows the importance of communication. Such an outsourcing partner would communicate every step of their research process to the client, to prioritize security and fulfillment. Therefore, always look for partners who are adept at these tasks.

Similarly, businesses should not hesitate to find out the progress of their research. Most importantly, organizations should ensure that an effective, secure, and transparent communication pathway is established between them and the patent research partner. When communication is transparent, ideas can be shared, and bottlenecks can be avoided.


From the above points, it can be concluded that a dedicated patent research team can streamline the process of obtaining a patent for an idea. The only aspect that businesses need to ensure is the trustworthiness of the research partner – who adheres to the confidentiality norms and is dedicated to an idea’s success. While the patent research process can be time-intensive, hiring the right partner can make it seamless and ultimately help businesses to secure a patent grant.

– Rohit Kumar (Engineering) and the Editorial Team

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