What are the aims of conducting patent searches?
Patent searches are conducted for example in order to:
establish the state of art in the domain of an invention for which patent protection is to be sought and check its novelty prior to filing (patentability search)
provide information on existing exclusive rights for a product, device, technology etc. (infringement search)
monitor patent policy and development of a firm
It should be noted that the results of patent searches should never be considered 100% sure.
European Patent Attorney