Preliminary searches are important for your research & development, as they give you an idea of the technical field you are embarking on or intend to embark on in future. On the one hand, the patent documents which are found can give you an insight into how others have solved specific technical problems. A preliminary search can also prevent you from developing something that has already been developed earlier by someone else. As a result, you can save a lot of time and effort, particularly if you arrange for the search to be carried out at an early stage in your research & development.
A preliminary search is also often used to assess whether a product developed by you is eligible for patent protection. On the basis of the search results, the patent attorney can often give you a first impression of the likelihood that the grant procedure for your patent will be successful.
Finally, a preliminary search can also be used to gain a first impression of the likelihood that a product that you intend to bring onto the market will fall within the scope of protection of patents held by third parties. Searches of this type are often the start of a more extensive freedom-to-operate search, in which an in-depth investigation is carried out to determine whether your product infringes any third-party rights. The purpose of this is to prevent a product that you have brought onto the market from being withdrawn once more from the market.