One way to reduce the risk of filing a utility patent application that will struggle because of relevant prior art is to commission a patentability search for relevant prior art. The patentability search will not find all relevant prior art as some of the prior art is in the pipeline but hidden to the searchers. While the risk of problematic prior art cannot be reduced to zero, the risk of being surprised is greatly reduced by running a prior art search.
FLYNN IP LAW normally outsources the search process to specialized search firms after working with the client to draw up detailed instructions for the type of prior art that is deemed relevant to a particular project. The detailed instructions may include a broad patent claim on the new invention to help focus the search on the aspects of the good or service that will be of interest when seeking patent protection.