Automated systems are making it increasingly easy to keep a close eye on your competitors' patent portfolio. Patent attorney Isabelle de Grave-Wolterink has some convincing arguments as to why this is worth the money. The Top 3.
1. Intervene in a competitor's patent application at an early stage
Patent applications are published after eighteen months. Before a patent is actually granted, there are some excellent early intervention opportunities. By taking advantage of these you can stop a situation in which your competitors are awarded rights that are too generous. A very broad patent can lead to legal proceedings, which can be prevented by intervening at an early stage. This will save time, money and hassle. By setting up a register alert in the database that publishes applications, you can automatically and quite simply monitor any new publications.
2. See what your competitors are thinking
By monitoring your competitors' patent portfolio you get a good idea of the direction their research is going in. This can also be very inspiring for your own product development. It is therefore important to share any fresh insights that your competitors give in their applications with your innovative employees. That is where the real technical translation and therefore innovation takes place.
3. Discover new players in the market
Anyone who files a patent application will be told in a novelty report whether or not their invention is patentable. This report will refer to documents from your competitors that form the basis for the decision about the patentability of your invention. It is interesting to find out where your own particular documents turn up in the novelty reports of others as this will give you an insight into potential new competitors and tell you where they are. You get to know new players on the market. This form of monitoring is slightly more difficult for you to do yourself, compared with the monitoring of published patent applications. Your patent attorney can help you take out a suitable subscription at a relatively low cost.
If you would like to find out more about closely monitoring your competitors, please contact Isabelle.