I am seeking to start patenting something, and have reached out to an organization that claims to be able to help with the patenting process.

They want to do something they call a Formal Patent Search of Classification, and to charge me for it, before starting to work on the patent application itself.

What is this Formal Patent Search of Classification? I haven't been able to find any information on it online. Does it differ from a preliminary patent search (as explained on the CIPO website) in any meaningful way?

1 Answer 1


Beware invention submission companies in general. However it makes sense to have a professional search for patentability done before drafting an application. Including a search by classification is a hallmark of a professional search. Rather than just search by keyword, patents and patent applications are searched by a classification system. The various classification systems can be fine grained and can turn up prior art that didn’t happen to use the keywords you expected. For example

G06K 1/20 . Simultaneous marking of record carrier and printing-out of data, e.g. printing-punch

in the CPC system

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