State-of-the-Art Search

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Gives an overview of a technology area. A State of the Art Patent Search is a patent search that seeks to collect most -- or at least, several -- patents that disclose information concerning a "new product or apparatus in which an improvement is desired". The purpose is to detail a patent history of a particular art or subject matter with the idea of determining if it is possible to create or derive a sufficiently new product that goes beyond the current state of the art. Essentially, an effort is made to employ a set of patents as "stepping stones toward the development of new products or improvements"