Quite a lot of work will have been done before you get your patent. In the factory or in the lab. Tests, modifications and checks to see if all of the brainwaves are feasible. Once the idea has been crystallized to a sufficient degree and it is clear what problem your invention solves, you are ready to start drafting a patent application.
18 months after submitting your patent application, the big moment is finally there and your patent will literally pop through your letterbox. "So, that's it then, now nobody will be able to copy my product." Or ....
Faith in the patent police
Innovators who rely on the patent police are going to be disappointed. Unfortunately there isn't a body that checks to see of someone is copying your product and bringing to the market. You will need to keep any eye on this yourself. It is just like when you have children: you don't stop worrying about them once they have left home. This is often when the real worries start.
Infringement of Property rights
How do you go about that? How do you know if someone is infringing your Intellectual Property rights?
Tip 1: Monitor your competitors' website, folders, advertisements
Your competitor will proudly display its products on its website and in folders and advertisements. So make sure you keep an eye on the trade press and visit their website on a monthly basis. Also keep an eye on their YouTube channel and social media. We couldn't make the first tip any easier!
Tip 2: Use the eyes and ears of the Sales department
Nobody knows the market better than your representatives and sales people. They visit trade fairs and talk to customers who sometimes unconsciously give them some very interesting information: "You say that this is a unique quality, but your competitor X is offering the exact same device."
Did you know that most infringements are tracked down by the Sales department? However 9 times out of 10 they are not even aware of it. A client's R&D department had a handy solution for this: it produced a booklet for the representatives containing all of the company's patents.
It is up to you to decide if a booklet is the best solution for you. What I do know for sure that is that it definitely does not do any harm to have regular discussions between the Sales department and the Research & Development department.
Tip 3: Let an automated software system do the work
My final tip: set up a so-called 'monitor' together with your patent attorney. Via an automated system, searches are carried out in the patent databases for patent publications that are similar to yours.
You will receive a periodic overview of possible infringers. There are various options. You can set up the monitor that best suits your particular situation together with your patent attorney.