When an entrepreneur has an exceptional idea, it is advisable that he/she should patent it. Intellectual property is valuable in the business world. However, you cannot rely on a granted patent to protect your invention. You must be able to identify potential infringements of patent rights and take action. During my 20+ years of working with startups on intellectual property strategies, I find many advantages to startups when they monitor competitive activities as reflected in their patent filing activities and correlated with public go-to-market announcements.
What is Patent Monitoring?
Patent monitoring is a cost-effective, simple, and efficient way to help you develop new products, as well as to keep you updated on their competitors’ intellectual property rights.
Patent monitoring is a process of checking whether any third party infringes on your patented product or technology. It is a form of intellectual property protection that helps you prevent unauthorized use of your product or technology from other people or companies.
Patent monitoring services are a new way to help companies protect their intellectual property and avoid infringement. Patents can be expensive, time-consuming to develop and difficult to enforce. Patent monitoring services help patent owners determine if they have infringed on someone else’s patent by checking the validity of patents.
A patent holder can provide patent monitoring services to his customers or even provide it for free if he wants to be sure that his client does not infringe on his own patents. Most companies offer these services for free so long as their customers pay them for the privilege of using it.
Patent monitoring makes it easy to navigate around third-party patent rights. It also makes it easier for you to enforce and protect your own rights. This is why it could be an important part of your company’s risk assessment process and risk mitigation efforts.
Patent monitoring services are used by clients to monitor the status of their patents with respect to third parties. The clients may be small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Fortune 500 companies, individual inventors and university researchers.
Traditionally, patent holders were the only ones who were able to monitor their patents themselves. Nowadays, there are several companies that offer patent monitoring services as well.
Benefits of Patent Monitoring
Globally, the number of patent rights are increasing. It will be even harder to find your market space, navigate around third-party rights, and prevent infringement of your rights. It will become more important to understand the context of existing rights and applications.
There are many benefits to monitoring the patent activities of your competitors, including the following:
- This could help you identify potential competitors and minimize the risk of infringing their intellectual property early in the product development process.
- Patent monitoring search allows you to keep up with the latest developments in a specific field of interest, and more importantly, it allows you to see the current position potential competitors in that field of invention.
- It helps you identify potential patent infringement issues that could impact your future commercial activities early.
- If their claims are similar to yours, you can track and locate the patent applications of other people.
Patent monitoring is like an advance warning system through:
- Early warning of potential threats: Patent monitoring can help a company identify potential competitors and new technologies that may pose a threat to its business. This early warning can allow the company to take proactive measures to protect its market position.
- Identify new opportunities: Patent monitoring can also help a company identify new opportunities for growth and expansion. By monitoring the patent activities of competitors and other companies in the industry, a company can identify new markets, products, or services that it could pursue.
- Identify potential partners: Patent monitoring can also help a company identify potential partners or collaborators that can provide valuable resources or expertise.
- Developing a competitive strategy: Patent monitoring can provide valuable insights into the competitive landscape that can help a company develop a more effective competitive strategy. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of its competitors, a company can develop a strategy that targets its competitors’ vulnerabilities.
- Staying up-to-date with industry trends: Patent monitoring can help a company stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and developments. This can help the company anticipate future changes in the market and adapt to new technologies.
- Legal protection: Patent monitoring can also help a company identify potential patent infringement issues, which can help the company avoid costly legal disputes.
Overall, patent monitoring of competition can provide a company with valuable insights and information that can help it stay competitive and grow its business.
How does patent monitoring work
One or more of your competitors can be monitored, as well as an entire industry or a particular technology or patents, in any markets.
It is a huge advantage to have a clear view of the markets relevant to your company and to be able to quickly respond to any third-party applications for patents for products that infringe your rights or could put a halt to your production and sales.
You can also monitor patents in your region to keep your eyes open and gain inspiration for new products. You can choose to have your patent monitoring customized to your company’s needs. We offer a basic monitoring service that will provide you with a report once per month on monitoring results.
Patent monitoring services are a way to track the status of your patent and know when it is time to file a patent application. There are two types of patent monitoring:
#1. Filing and Maintenance Patent Monitoring
This service monitors existing patents in your area of interest and identifies any changes that may be required before you file a new patent application.
Filing and maintenance patent monitoring helps you keep up to date on the status of patents filed by your competitors. It’s a way to know what your competitors are doing, so that you can take advantage of any patent infringement lawsuits that may arise from their patents (that is, if you are threatened with patent infringement).
#2. Patent Strategy Patent Monitoring
This service reviews the technical content of your current patents to identify potential improvements that can be made to strengthen or update them.
Patent Strategy monitoring is the process of keeping up to date on the status of patents filed by your competitors. It’s a way to know what your competitors are doing, so that you can take advantage of any patent infringement lawsuits that may arise from their patents (that is, if you are threatened with patent infringement).
competitive analysis using patent data and go-to-market announcements
Competitive analysis using patent data and go-to-market announcements can provide valuable insights into a company’s competitors and the market landscape. Here are a few ways that a company can use patent data and go-to-market announcements for competitive analysis:
- Identify key competitors: Patent data can be used to identify key competitors in the market and understand their areas of focus and strengths. This can help a company identify potential threats and opportunities.
- Assess market trends: Patent data can be analyzed to identify key trends and developments in the market. This can help a company anticipate future changes and adapt its strategy accordingly.
- Understand product and service offerings: Patent data can be used to understand the product and service offerings of a company’s competitors. This can help a company identify areas where it may be able to differentiate its own offerings.
- Monitor go-to-market announcements: Go-to-market announcements can provide valuable insights into a company’s competitors’ strategies and plans. This can help a company anticipate competitor’s moves and respond accordingly.
- Identify potential partners and collaborations: Patent data and go-to-market announcements can be used to identify potential partners and collaborators that can provide valuable resources or expertise.
- Developing a competitive strategy: By analyzing patent data and go-to-market announcements, a company can develop a more effective competitive strategy. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of its competitors, a company can develop a strategy that targets its competitors’ vulnerabilities.
- Legal protection: Patent data can also be used to identify potential patent infringement issues, which can help the company avoid costly legal disputes.
Overall, competitive analysis using patent data and go-to-market announcements can provide valuable insights that can help a company make more informed decisions and stay competitive in the market.
Reasons for Regularly Undertaking Patent Monitoring
Patent holders may engage in patent monitoring services for several reasons, such as:
- To obtain information about possible infringement of their patent(s).
- To find out if their patent(s) have been infringed upon.
- To prevent or limit the use of their patents, or stop others from infringing them in the future.
A good way to begin performing patent monitoring is by looking at all published material related to your invention, including:
- Patent literature (patent applications).
- Patent applications themselves (patent specifications).
Using a Patent Management System
Using a patent management system provides a number of benefits for inventors, including streamlining patent monitoring activities in the following ways:
- Identifying potential infringers by checking whether they have filed a patent application prior to filing a lawsuit against an individual inventor;
- Keeping up with recently filed patents;
- Identifying unpatentable subject matter through searching the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s database; and
- Understanding trends in patent filings over time — such as declining numbers of new applications being filed but increasing numbers of reexaminations — which can indicate that an industry might be undergoing a change in direction (for example, from one technology to another).
How can we help you
Our services can help you monitor and mitigate risks. Our monitoring service can be tailored to your company’s technical field, market, plans, and resources – both short- and long-term.
We have the experience and expertise to serve as an expert sounding board regardless of how mature and patent-experienced your company is.
We can help you with patent monitoring. Contact Us to get a custom-made monitoring solution.