Patent Search

How to create a Patent Invalidation Search Strategy

Patent Invalidity / Invalidation also known as Opposition Study or Patent Validity Study. The purpose of an Patent Invalidation Search strategy is to analyse the invalidate patents or revoke an already registered/ granted patent claims.

Introduction

Patent Invalidity / Invalidation also known as Opposition Study or Patent Validity Study. This is often done by arguing with the patent authorities that the claim(s) of the Patent to be Invalidated (PTBI) at the time of filing was not novel or obvious.

Patent Invalidation Search is conceptually similar to Patentability Search, as for the project, effectively a Patentability search is being done prior to the date restriction of PTBI’s filing date.

Creating a Patent Invalidation Search Strategy

In this example, the approach to an invalidation study will be observed, where the specific aspects of a claim or claims of a certain patent are to be mapped with any public disclosure previous to the priority date of the claims of the patent.

Understanding the Invention

Invalidation of Claim 4 of US 7803176 B2 (Titled: Sternal closure clamp device).

Claim 4. The device of claim 1, further comprising engagement member pivoting means wherein the angle of each of said engagement members is independently adjustable relative to said central body.

Claim 1.  A sternal closure clamp device comprising: A central body four independently actuated engagement members, each comprising a telescoping arm member having a longitudinal axis and a projection member, two of said engagement members mounted on a first side of said central body and the other two of said engagement members mounted on a second side of said central body, wherein said arm members of said first side engagement members are positioned such that said first side arm member longitudinal axes are non-parallel to each other and wherein said arm members of said second side engagement member are positioned such that said second side arm member longitudinal axes are non-parallel to each other wherein each of said engagement members are independently retractable toward said central body and independently extendable away from said central body; and engagement member locking means for securing said engagement members in a fixed retracted position relative to said central body, said engagement member locking means being releasable such that said engagement members are extendable from said retracted position.

Restrictions

An Invalidation search involves a date restriction to restrict the set of results to documents published or with priority before the priority date of the patent to be invalidated (PTBI) or claim to be invalidated (CTBI), which for this example is 28 May 2009.

Identifying Patent Classifications

Following IPC and USCLA are identified

Relevant IPC Codes Identified
S.No IPC Classification Details
1 A61B 17/00 Surgical instruments, devices or methods
2 A61B 19/00 Instruments, implements or accessories for surgery or diagnosis not covered by any of the groups A61B 1/00-A61B 18/00…
Relevant US Classification Codes Identified
S.No USCLA Classification Details
1 606/151 Surgery – Surgical mesh, connector, clip, clamp or band
2 606/213 Surgery – Sutureless closure
3 606/905 Surgery – Rib or sternum plate

Developing the Patent Invalidation Search Strategy

The approach to the search adopted in this example is similar to Infringement Analysis / Clearance Search article, where parallel concepts are chalked out and combined with each other using field based variation and narrowing. However, here in each of the strings where the concepts are combined at the first step itself to make them optimally broad and narrow, and then duplicates are removed by using an ‘OR’ operator. Further, a general approach taken in an Invalidation Search includes assignee based searches and citation based searches which are indicated in the search strings below. Citation searches can be carried out for PTBI or citations highlighted by the applicant or the examiner for the patent. PatSeer corporate tree and PatSeer assignee/inventor matching can be used to make the assignee search robust and accurate. Also relevant date restriction has been used in the searches

The Search Strings highlighted in Bold font are the ones which are finally used for obtaining an analysis set.

S.No Search Strings
1 TA: ((closure OR closing OR seal OR sealing OR stitch OR stitches OR join OR joining OR fastener OR fastening OR fastner OR fastning OR sew OR sewing) AND (device OR apparatus OR article OR object OR machine OR equipment OR tool OR appliance OR instrument))
AND
TACD: ((sternum OR sternal ) AND (coupling OR join OR joining OR buckle OR buckling OR conjoin OR connect OR connecting OR link OR linking OR unit OR bond OR bonding OR union OR junction) AND (Claw OR clamp OR hook OR grappler OR pincer OR clutch OR grip OR gripping OR gripper OR clench OR clasp OR talon) AND (Pivot OR fulcrum OR axel OR gliding joint OR spindle OR swivel))
AND
PRD:[2007-01-01 TO 2009-05-28]
2 TA: ((claw OR clamp OR holder OR hook OR grappler OR capture OR pincer OR clutch OR grip OR gripping OR gripper OR clench OR clasp OR talon) AND (device OR apparatus OR article OR object OR machine OR equipment OR tool OR appliance OR instrument)) )
AND
TACD:((sternum OR sternal) AND (closure OR seal OR sealing OR stitch OR stitches OR join OR joining OR fastener OR fastening OR sew OR sewing) AND ((pivot OR fulcrum OR axel OR gliding joint OR spindle OR swivel))
AND
PRD:[2007-01-01 TO 2009-05-28]
3 TA: (“sternum” OR “sternal” OR sterna OR (breast w4 bone*)))
AND
TACD: ((device OR apparatus OR article OR object OR machine OR equipment OR tool OR appliance OR instrument) AND (Shaft OR rod OR bar OR Pole OR axis OR shank) AND (arm OR limb OR branch OR extension) AND (Claw OR clamp OR holder OR hook OR grappler OR capture OR pincer
OR clutch OR grip* OR clench OR clasp OR talon) AND (Coupling OR join OR buckle OR conjoin OR connect OR link OR unit OR bond OR connect OR union OR junction) AND (Pivot OR fulcrum OR focal OR gliding joint OR spindle OR swivel))
AND
PRD:[ 2007-01-01 TO 2009-05-28]
4 TACD: (sternum OR sternal OR sterna OR (breast w4 bone*)) AND (device OR apparatus OR article OR object OR machine OR equipment OR tool OR appliance OR instrument) AND (shaft OR rod OR bar OR Pole OR axis OR shank) AND (arm OR limb OR branch OR extension) AND (Claw OR clamp OR holder
OR hook OR grappler OR capture OR pincer OR clutch OR grip* OR clench OR clasp OR talon) AND (Coupling OR join OR buckle OR conjoin OR connect OR link OR unit OR bond OR connect OR union OR junction) AND (Pivot OR fulcrum OR focal OR “gliding joint” OR spindle OR swivel)
AND
PRD:[2007-01-01 TO 2009-05-28]
5 TACD: (sternum OR sternal OR sterna OR sternums) AND (device OR apparatus OR article OR object OR machine OR equipment OR tool OR appliance OR instrument) AND (Shaft OR rod OR bar OR pole OR axis OR shank) AND (arm OR limb OR branch OR extension) AND (Claw OR clamp OR
holder OR hook OR grappler OR capture OR pincer OR clutch OR grip* OR clench OR clasp OR talon) AND (Coupling OR join OR buckle OR conjoin OR connect OR link OR unit OR bond OR connect OR union OR junction) AND (pivot OR fulcrum OR focal OR gliding joint OR spindle OR swivel)
AND
PRD:[2007-01-01 TO 2009-05-28]
6 TA:(sternum OR sternal OR sterna OR (breast w4 bone*)) AND (device OR apparatus OR article OR object OR machine OR equipment OR tool OR appliance OR instrument) AND (claw OR clamp OR holder OR hook OR grappler OR capture OR pincer OR clutch OR grip* OR clench OR clasp OR
talon OR (pivot OR fulcrum OR focal OR gliding joint OR spindle OR swivel) —–check query
AND
PRD:[2007-01-01 TO 2009-05-28]
7 TACD:((sternum or sternal) w20 pivot)
AND
PRD:[2007-01-01 TO 2009-05-28]
8 TAC:(sternum OR sternal OR sterna OR (breast w4 bone*))
AND
TA:(sternum OR sternal OR sterna OR (breast w4 bone*))
AND
(IC: (A61B17* OR A61B19*) OR UC: (“606/151” OR “606/213” OR “606/905”))
AND PRD:[2007-01-01 TO 2009-05-28]
9 Citation Analysis of US7803176B2
10 ASN:(Synthes Holding OR SIC Breveti OR Aesculap OR Spiration OR KLS Martin OR (Johnson W2 Johnson) OR Medtronic OR Covidien)
11 ASN:(Synthes Holding OR SIC Breveti OR Aesculap OR Spiration OR KLS Martin OR (Johnson W2 Johnson) OR Medtronic OR Covidien)
AND
TAC: (sternum OR sternal OR sterna OR sternums)

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