Is it more common for a patent attorney/agent to commit a patentability search to a search firm or to do it in house?

In case of committing to a search firm:

  • which prices are fair?
  • how to choose the firm?
  • how to evaluate the results? (I mean: if a list of the 10 closest application is povided how can I know how trustable is this list?)

1 Answer 1


A novelty search can cost from $299 to $2,000 depending on the technology area and what you are expecting to get back. It could be a list of ten things or it could be a list broken down into "A", "B" and "C" items with explanations as to what aspects got things on the A list. You should get info on the search strategy used. If you go to a patent attorney or agent you could also (pay more for and) get a "patentability opinion". No search can find everything that might be relevant that was ever made, sold, patented, or in a publication since the beginning of writing on a world-wide basis.

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