Science IP Search Services

Whether you need to conduct a comprehensive Prior Art search, stay on top of the latest pharmacological findings or retrieve authoritative chemical and regulatory information for the substances you work with, Science IP has the expertise and resources to efficiently and reliably help you accomplish your goals.

Examples of the types of searches we provide include:

Intellectual property searches

Patentability or Novelty
A Patentability search is undertaken to support a legal opinion that an invention is both novel and non-obvious, and therefore worthy of a patent application. This type of search is very specific to the exact technology in question, and patent and non-patent literature resources are researched to determine whether an invention is novel and non-obvious to someone skilled in the art on that particular subject.

Freedom to Operate/Freedom to Practice
A Freedom to Operate search is conducted to ensure a product does not infringe valid, in-force patents held within a country or region in which an organization intends to conduct business. This type of search looks only at patent information and focuses on the claims of existing patents.

Prior Art
A Prior Art search is the broadest and most general type of intellectual property search. The term "Prior Art" refers to relevant documents that discuss or provide background on a particular topic and are available to the public. Material includes patent and non-patent literature associated with the topic of interest, and a search is often limited to what was available at or before a particular point in time.

State of the Art
A State of the Art search seeks focused, specific information that is most relevant and current for a particular topic. A State of the Art search might include a current awareness aspect to ensure up-to-date knowledge of the latest information for a topic.

Often associated with patent litigation, a Validity search attempts to discover information in either patent or non-patent literature that was available in the public domain prior to the priority filing date of a specific patent. Validity searches are conducted by organizations seeking to invalidate a patented invention that blocks the development of new technology or the ability to conduct business. Patent owners or potential licensees might also conduct a Validity search to ensure a particular invention or piece of intellectual property can stand up to a validity challenge.

To protect a patent owner’s intellectual property rights, an Infringement search is performed to support a legal opinion about whether an unauthorized party is using a patented technology without the permission of the patent owner.

Search techniques

A keyword search finds references to specific terms in patents and non-patent literature. Typical IP search terms include topics and related text terms, author names, patent assignee names, organization names and patent classification codes. Search terms may also take advantage of value-added indexing available in specific databases.

In the hands of an experienced searcher, a keyword search often leads to discovery of related information that helps round out knowledge of a subject area and ensures comprehensive coverage of pertinent material.

Chemical Structure
A chemical structure search looks for chemical substances that are identical or highly similar to compounds of interest. Search projects involving substances are rarely complete without chemical structure searching, especially in consideration of the rapid growth of generic and exemplified chemical structures disclosed in patents.

Chemical structure searches can be distinguished by subtypes:

  • Exact, where results exactly match the structure searched
  • Family, where results include the exact structure searched and its salts, hydrates, solvates, mixtures, stereoisomers, racemic mixtures, geometric isomers, tautomers, zwitterions, coordination compounds, charged compounds, radicals, radical ions and isotopes, as well as polymers in which the structure searched is a component monomer
  • Substructure, in which the structure searched can include variables and optional substitutions at defined locations
  • Markush, also referred to as generic structure search, in which the structure searched can include variable functional groups, atoms, ring sizes, etc. Markush structures are generally associated with patent literature.
  • Fragment, where the structure searched is composed of individual pieces or fragments, and results contain the same collection of fragments, although not necessarily connected in the same way

Chemical structures can also be searched by using substance name or synonym, molecular formula, CAS Registry Number or substance attributes.

Sometimes referred to as a nucleic acid or amino acid search, the purpose of a sequence search is to discover extended amino acid (peptides and proteins) or nucleic acid (genes) sequences that either exactly match or are similar to a sequence of interest.

Different types of sequence searches can be conducted:

  • Exact, where results exactly match the sequence searched
  • Subsequence, where results include the sequence searched and sequences that include additional amino acid or nucleic acid segments
  • Homology, where computer algorithms score sequences based on their similarity to the sequence searched

Additional searches

Connection Tables
Chemical structures are represented  in CAS REGISTRYSM using Connection Tables. For internal use within an organization, Connection Tables for up to 200,000 substances can be provided in bulk in a number of formats, including SD files, MOL files or SMILES strings.

Input for a Connection Table search is submitted in machine readable format, with substances identified either by chemical substance name or CAS Registry Number. Redistribution of Connection Tables is strictly prohibited.

Current awareness 
Current awareness searches keep you up-to-date on the latest news that might affect issues such as the patentability of technology under development, your organization’s freedom to operate in a particular geography, or whether someone is infringing your intellectual property. Staying current on topics of interest and newly issued patents can contribute directly to the success of your business.

CAS Registry Number lookup
Using identifying information, such as a substance name, synonym or molecular formula, the CAS Registry Number assigned to a chemical substance is provided. If a CAS Registry Number has not been assigned to a substance, a customer can be directed to the CAS service that will assign one, if desired.

CAS abstract retrieval
Using a CAS accession number ("CAN") or bibliographic information to identify a reference, a CAS abstract for a specific document is provided.

Reaction information
Chemical reaction data in patent and non-patent literature, including details about transformations and products expected from collections of starting materials, are provided for chemical substances of interest. For general transformation information and non-structurally specific data, reaction searching can also be conducted for chemical functional groups..

Property and regulatory searches

Physical property information, such as melting point, vapor pressure or optical rotation, is provided for chemical substances. Additionally, chemical substances with properties that fall within a specified value or range of values can be retrieved.

A Regulatory search determines whether a chemical substance is controlled by or registered with global regulatory authorities. Substances are checked against nearly 150 inventories and lists, including REACH (Europe), TSCA (USA), ENCS (Japan), DSL (Canada), AICS (Australia), ECL (Korea), PICCS (Philippines) and SWISS (Switzerland), among others.

REACH compliance
Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) is a European Union regulation that addresses the production and use of chemical substances and their potential impact on human health and the environment. Science IP can help you locate the substance and property information required to comply with REACH directives

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