Patent monitoring, also known as “patent alerting,” is critical for a variety of reasons. Patent monitoring tools can be a valuable asset in a company’s arsenal. When done incorrectly, however, it is a huge waste of money. It is costly to have access to monitoring processes and databases in the hope that they will provide value. The reality is that businesses frequently go through the motions of patent monitoring with little regard for their business priorities and a limited understanding of the true power it possesses.
In theory, it is simple to set up an R&D or patent monitoring system. You choose a system to power the alerts, and the subsequent alerts are shared with internal reviewers, whose feedback is then used to help the business make strategic decisions, inspire innovation, identify critical third-party patents, and provide a clear view of the company’s competitive landscape.
The Current Scenario
What we frequently see in the industry is quite the opposite. Someone sets up expensive databases using patent monitoring tools to power the patent watch, but the internal reviewers have little incentive to be compliant with the needs of the business—to assess the output and provide their inputs in addition to their main role. As a result, critical patents are missed, and there is no complete picture or consolidated view of the competition. Because this scenario is all too common, some businesses choose to forego patent monitoring altogether rather than waste money on an unused resource. As a result, many businesses ignore or misuse a powerful and critical tool.
This post will introduce the topic of alerting, describe the quality factors that comprise a successful alert, dive deeper into a use case to highlight the real-world benefits that can be realized, and finally, discuss the necessity for alerting and the potent resource that can result from it. We will look at alerting in detail, introduce you to our AI-based patent alerts tool, x-SDI, and highlight the importance of precision in successful patent alerts. In my experience, most businesses have developed excellent solutions for their search needs, docketing, drafting, and so on. However, much work remains to be done in the critical resource of patent monitoring!
What is Patent Monitoring?
Essentially, we’re talking about identifying patents, news articles, literature, product launch information, and other new information types based on a pre-defined set of criteria of interest and importance to the organization. These can range from focusing on a specific type of technology to closely monitoring the activities of major competitors, as well as everything in between.
But why do we need this monitoring? Indeed, the reasons for conducting alerts are nearly as diverse as the criteria and information sources that can be utilized in them. Monitoring has three major applications: current awareness, opposition purposes, and continuously updated competitive intelligence and landscapes. Some of the most obvious reasons for monitoring are to identify and monitor critical patents for post-grant opposition reasons. Others may be less obvious, but they are just as important to a business if done correctly.
The value of providing researchers, the R&D community, and engineers with timely and accurate current awareness is frequently underestimated. Having this data delivered in a structured, timely manner can help guide ideation, innovation, and creativity, as well as prevent people from going down the proverbial “rabbit hole” and wasting company dollars.
Similarly, by using patent monitoring tools to keep track of key competitors, a company can respond to new market developments. Making important strategic decisions without understanding the competitive landscape can be both costly and risky for individual decision-makers or the organization as a whole, as the old adage “knowledge is power” applies here.
Identifying and tracking unique and innovative developments in key technological fields for acquisition, licensing, or partnership is another use case. Keeping up with new trends and potentially disruptive technologies allows businesses to get a jump on their competitors. Monitoring, rather than more ad hoc, opportunistic options, is a useful tool for enabling this in a controlled and structured manner.
Whatever the use case, the company’s benefit can be multiplied exponentially if the alerts’ output is used to create a curated repository that allows users to investigate the data for developments over time, identify trends, interpret strategy, and so on. The information continues to be useful after users encounter it for the first time.
All of the above are excellent in theory, but we frequently see the same issues with alerts throughout all industry sectors. A common one is a company’s lack of compliance with regard to alerts. When specifically designed to serve a defined purpose, they provide excellent value to the stakeholders and empower decision-makers to act, but what’s the point if recipients aren’t even looking at them? Keeping alerts up to date can be a time-consuming process. They contain large data sets with review backlogs, exacerbating the problem and canceling out any potential benefits.
The key is to ensure that alerts are properly configured, that they accomplish the primary goals of stakeholders, and that they work in tandem with other processes in the stakeholder’s roles, like searches or landscape studies. The alerts should then be tracked to include a compliance component while also allowing for re-use and interrogation. Why should stakeholders have to touch a patent a number of times to answer different questions when once should suffice? Simultaneously, monitoring must be less burdensome for stakeholders.
XLSCOUT’s AI-based patent alerts platform, x-SDI, provides you with noise-free alerts on competitors and technology.
It is a simple three-step procedure:
- Identify the technologies and competitors that are essential to you.
- Train x-SDI to filter noise.
- Consistently track and share reliable insights.
Users can receive patent alerts whenever newly filed patent applications match the search query’s conditions. They can choose how often they want to be notified about changes to search query results. They can also choose when to receive notifications and for how long they want to receive a specific Query Alert. Additionally, they can also change their search parameters and receive automated alerts to stay up-to-date on global patent filings.