Before you apply for a patent, it is important to conduct a comprehensive search for patent information. This step in the application process helps you to avoid wasting time and money by duplicating work that's already been done.

Performing a search prior to applying is vital as it helps you to:
• determine whether you can protect your IP i.e., does your invention meet the various requirements for successful grant of a patent
• determine whether you are infringing someone else's IP
• learn about the competition or for research purposes
• determine who owns an item of IP
• check that your IP is not being infringed
• obtain product information on your competitors.