This paper is addressed towards minimizing the risk inherent in making patent search opinions and to increase reliability especially in clearance product analysis. Indeed, in recent years, it has become more and more complex to provide professional patent analysis due to the growth of the total number of patent documents, of which two/thirds are patent applications. Always more often, the pool of documents resulting from a patent search contains documents that have not ended their procedure, contain amended parts and/or are still waiting for future events that might radically change the fortune of the patent, misleading any earlier opinion about it. Thus, patent specialist cannot simply search for all relevant patents and interpret the first version offered by patent repositories. In order to avoid grossest
errors, it is crucial to identify the most representative document from a patent family, gather information from all other patents of the same family, work always on the last updated files, fix the patent in the timeline procedure in order to measure future changes that can still happen. This paper analyses some of most frequent problems and errors faced in patent searches and offers a vade-mecum about most critical aspects to be taken into account, useful links and good practices, resulting from procedural and/or legal reasons.