I hope we have already discussed about few methods of invalidation here
I have been repeatedly focussing on the point that prior art search is not the only way of invalidating a patent. So I thought of summaring all the ways that can lead to invalidation of a patent:
● Maintenance fees aren’t paid
● It can be proved that the patent either (a) fails adequately to teach how to make and use the invention (b) improperly describes the invention (c) contains claims that are legally inadequate (one example has been earlier described here)
● One or more prior art references (earlier patents or other publications) are uncovered which show that the invention of the patent wasn’t new or wasn’t different enough when the invention was made the patent owner is involved in certain defined type of illegal conduct, that is, commit antitrust or other violations connected with the patent
● The patent applicant commited fraud on the Patent Office by failing to disclose material information, such as relevant prior art references, to the patent office during the period when the patent application was pending.
Thanks to Patent it Yourself for providing a ready summary. A very nice book for inventors (I must say).
Therefore, the analyst who is conducting the search should not limit his mind to identifying prior art references but he can also identify other facts that can contribute towards invalidation.