Intellectual property is the basis of business success in today’s technological market. Companies make significant investments in R&D to foster unique inventions, design concepts, and processes that will generate revenue through innovative products. In order to protect their inventions, companies must prioritize IP rights protection.
However, patent protection is not the only factor that ensures a company’s survival. It is also critical to keep track of competitors’ intellectual property status on a regular basis. A solid IP strategy concentrates on how to monitor competitors’ IP activities. In this section, we will look at how patent monitoring can be a useful tool in a company’s quest to observe the competition.
What is Patent Monitoring?
Patent monitoring is an essential component of the Intellectual Property Management process. With an increasing number of businesses filing patents at unprecedented rates, it is critical to track competitor patent filings. Patent monitoring has become essential for organizations to stay on top of any threatening actions in the patent landscape that could hinder their business operations.
Patent monitoring necessitates significant financial investment in order to gain access to the appropriate databases. While it is an important aspect of any organization, small and medium-sized businesses should consider the cost analysis of performing this investment-heavy activity.
Patent Monitoring Aspects
Patent monitoring entails three key areas, namely:
1. Legal Status Monitoring
Companies that use Legal Status Monitoring receive timely updates on particular or general patent filings in their field of expertise. Any adjustments in legal status or other developments are also documented and reported.
2. Applicant Monitoring
This enables businesses to track competitors and closely monitor all of their patent activities. Any recently published rights, company collaborations, knowledge of their IP assets, and so on fall under the scope of applicant monitoring.
3. Technological Field Monitoring
To gain a better understanding of the evolving patent landscape, the IPC/CPC classification systems are used. Businesses can use technological monitoring to evaluate their market position and forecast market trends.
How Patent Monitoring Benefits Business?
The practice of patent monitoring aids in the identification of the following:
1. Patent filings in related areas
Monitoring their patent filing applications is perhaps the easiest method for keeping track of the competitors’ patent landscape. Companies can gain valuable insights on competitor activities as well as knowledge into the latest market innovations by keeping a close eye on patents filed in related domains.
2. Tracking new competitors
New businesses will always pose a threat to existing ones. In this case, it is best to stay aware and informed of competitors looking to enter the market, as well as know how to track competitors. This assists businesses in remaining adequately prepared with strategies to deal with any potential threats.
3. Geographical assessment
Other businesses’ jurisdictional along with geographical reach must be studied for a comprehensive overview. Patent monitoring that is limited to a single market is insufficient in a world in which technology transcends borders. This exercise assists organizations in their pursuit of improved patent protection coverage in global markets.
4. Recognizing gaps in patent landscapes
Regardless of how crowded the landscape is, there is always the possibility of discovering gaps or white spaces for innovations. These white spaces can be effectively exploited to gain exclusivity and drive new profitable inventions. By maintaining a close eye on the competitor’s patents, patent monitoring can assist in identifying these gaps. Once white spaces are discovered, these special areas of interest may be protected by intellectual property rights.
5. Determining freedom-to-operate
The ability of a business to commercialize a technology-based product is dependent on its freedom-to-operate. Businesses can benefit from patent monitoring by evaluating existing patents in order to avoid infringement lawsuits. In markets characterized by constant technological innovation, being aware of all recent and ongoing patent activities is the only way to operate successfully and without infringements.
6. Speculate on market trends and predict future launches
Data from patent monitoring can provide crucial insights into market and competitor behavior. These insights can be used to successfully forecast other businesses’ IP strategies along with new product launches. Access to such critical information can help shape a company’s policies and R&D objectives.
7. Ascertain new investment areas
Companies can direct their investments into these lucrative areas once white spaces have been identified. Patent monitoring is a simple way to identify these gaps and generate profitable investment opportunities for businesses.
8. Pursuing patent annuities
Patent Monitoring pursues both the filing of patents and their maintenance in the form of annual annuities. When a company fails to pay the patent annuities, the IP protection granted to the patent is revoked. Various factors can influence the company’s decision to not renew its IP protection. However, such an event may be advantageous for competitors seeking to work around the patented technology.
Patent monitoring is a critical activity that provides a business with distinct advantages. The level of patent activity in a market, as well as the resources available to a company, determine whether monitoring is done monthly, yearly, or on a regular basis. Patent monitoring provides businesses with critical intelligence that can be used to develop better strategies and capitalize on opportunities.
Today’s AI-powered patent analytics tools, like XLSCOUT, leverage explainable AI-based technologies to help businesses discover relevant technical information quickly. With XLSCOUT, it is ever so easier now to compare and analyze technology trends over time. With easy access to graphical dashboards and insightful landscape reports, you can now view and compare the latest trends in a particular technology and identify the changes in competitor strategies.