Should you do a patent search? Could it be helpful or harmful?
For big companies, patent searches are forbidden because of the liability. But for startup companies, patent searches can help your due diligence prior to filing.
Beware of doing a patent search with the unconscious bias against the prior art. Far too many inventors do a search and declare “there is nothing like my invention” when they are woefully wrong.
Doing a patent search does not mean there is nothing out there, it just means we haven’t found it – yet.