Prior art search


There has been a tremendous increase in patent applications and patent granted over the recent years. For instance, for the sole field of environmental technologies, the number of patent applications has been mulplied by three between 1985 and 1995.

It is also well known that patents are a good trend indicator in the development of science and technology.

Continuous monitoring and in-depth analysis of the content of patents and patent applications brings valuable knowledge and appears more and more as a strategic information source.

It has been reported that up to 30 % of the R&D costs could be saved by systematic monitoring and « educated » evaluation of the patent literature.

Furthermore, 85 to 90 % of the technical knowledge is indeed retrievable in the patent literature. This represents an updated and detailed source of technical information unmatched by technical journals or magazines or books or even internet publications.

The retrieval of relevant information and its analysis, however, requires expert knowledge. 

IXAS CONSEIL offers specialized (focused) patent searches for various purposes. 

Typical standard approaches include: 


  • keyword searches (using a variety of search trees and cross checking),
  • searches by patent classes,
  • searches by company name (ensuring that competitors are tracked),
  • searches in adjacent domains (for instance when a product is associated with one or more other products).

Yet, it is more and more necessary to monitor the entire market access chain, as such patent activity can be conducted by all players, such as raw material suppliers, compnent suppliers, manufacturers and industrial end-users. 


Market leadership through targeted focused patent information retrieval and management :

It is well known that patent departments of many successful companies carry out systematic patent search and in-depth analysis to keep track of developments in a particular area of technology or to maintain full awareness of the patenting activities of competitors. The benefits of such offered investigations cover three domains :


  • State-of-the-art reviews :

Early detection of the evolution and trends in technologies and of technological changes ; effective use of own resources by avoiding costly duplication of effort in R&D by developping ideas that have already been tried; focalisation of innovating and promising areas and tasks of research.


  • Information about the status of industrial property rights :

Scanning the progress of patent applications filed by companies in different countries ; name and family searches and patent watch in order to detect the likelihood of infringement of granted or imminent IP rights.


  • Marketing strategy information :

This type of search and analysis leads to a better understanding of which types of products are on the market or about to enter the market ; it gives insight into delevoment of new products and markets by competitors ; it helps classifying the client’s own position with respect to his competitors ; it maintains current awareness and, if necessary, leads to the early fight against competing IP rights. It also allows not only monitoring of competitors, but also monitoring of key accounts, possibly orienting sales penetration efforts toward those innovative customers which could block development of other less innovative ones or to develop application patents at the raw material manufacturing level and operate via licensing.

This is particularly important in the case of “application” patents which, being “close to market”, can block the access to manufacturers and consequently to producers thata re suppliers to other manufacturers.

This global intelligence service is organized around the identification and analysis of information from different sources but more preferably extracted from international patent data bases. The ouput is typically a clear monthly or quarterly summary report covering your areas of interest.

This information can also be presented in the form of a customized database for the client’s internal use, which inlcudes hyperlinks to the patent documents.


In addition to the information services mentioned above, IXAS Conseil patent search and advisory service carries out in-depth analysis of the search results in order to determine the right to use of a given technology.

This is conducted in specific situations such as the launch of a new process or a new production plant, or the launch of a new product, and may allow to support the client in various situations such as: infringement risk assessment, negotiating contractual agreements (which may include the negotiation of indemnification clauses with end-users eager to secure their own positions in cases of infringement).


We believe that there is a strong need to develop much greater awareness o third-party art and patented technology, in the field of competence of industrial firms, whatever their size.