Case Studies
Client A European law firm
Problem & Context The client commissioned SPA to find prior art for a patent on the use of a particular organic acid for treating a skin condition.
SPA Approach & Deliverables
  • An organic chemist with pharma background and a vast search experience was assigned the job.
  • The searcher carefully reviewed the prosecution of the subject patent and its family members.
  • An extensive search was conducted in various databases using keywords, class codes and CAS RN.
  • The search did not retrieve any document closer than those already cited during patent prosecution.
  • SPA then conducted a search for references published after the priority date of the subject patent.
  • SPA searcher found a journal article dated Jan 2015, wherein it was mentioned that the author had tested the efficacy of various organic acids for treating the said skin condition during her Ph.D. research.
  • SPA checked the author’s profile and found that her Ph.D. thesis from an Indian University was dated as far back as 1990s. However, the Ph.D. thesis was not available online.
  • As the reference in case was very close to the subject patent, the client requested SPA to contact the university and procure the Ph.D. thesis.
  • The author had indeed used the particular acid for the said purpose as in the subject patent. The thesis was in the public domain well before the priority date of the subject patent and hence proved to be a potential prior art.
  • The unique strategy employed by SPA helped find a critical reference while also demonstrating SPA’s superior commitment towards clients’ needs.
Turnaround time 4-5 weeks
Cost
  • $3,000