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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?

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