What is patent monitoring and alerting?

You innovate on the limits of what is possible. Just you, at least you hope so. Or are there some others out there as well? And if there are, where are they? Are you free to innovate in the direction you have in mind, or are there any patents belonging to others that form an obstacle?

We can investigate every specific case for you, but if you are continually innovating it is better to continually monitor the situation as well. Virtually all patent applications end up in public, freely accessible patent databases. A huge number of publications are published every week in all kinds of languages.

In the case of patent monitoring and alerting we systematically make a monthly selection of patent documents. We use a commercial database for this which optimises the information and presents it in a more effective way. We tailor the selection to your needs. We can, for example, monitor an area of technical expertise, your competitors, specific inventors or a combination of criteria. We can also monitor the progress of specific patent actions. Every single month.

Advantages of patent monitoring and alerting

The information gathered by selectively monitoring patent publications contributes to your company objectives in all sorts of ways. Here are a number of examples:

  • You stay up to date on the innovations of others within your technological field. Patent applications are initially kept secret, but are generally published within 18 months after filing. That may seem like a long time, but the time-to-market is often much longer. Even if you are fully familiar with the market, patent monitoring and alerting could have made you aware of what was being developed and by whom years earlier.
  • You have a direction in mind and do not want to be surprised by patents granted to your competitors. Once granted these can force you to change that direction. There is generally a considerable amount of time between a patent application showing up in our monitoring and alerting and a patent being granted. In a lot of countries we have the possibility to file a so-called Third Party Observation in that period, sometimes even anonymously. By doing so we can derail an application by your competitor, or in any event push it slightly to one side. This ensures that you keep the freedom to innovate and do business.
  • You get an idea of your competitors' business tactics. If they are specialising in a particular innovation, you will be able to respond accordingly. You will also see in which countries they want to establish patents and thus understand their global strategy.
  • You will also stay up to date on any new players in your particular market. By monitoring the applications you will know who your competitors are going to be before they actually become visible on that market.
  • You will see in which third party patent actions your patent applications are being quoted. Most applications are accompanied by a Search Report in which relevant patent documents are quoted. If your patent publication is important for someone else's application, then that other party is probably close to your technology.

This is what EP&C can do for you

Effective patent monitoring and alerting does not generate an excessive amount of information. After all, you have to be able to process it. That is why we sit down with you to help you make the right choices. We determine the aim of the patent monitoring and alerting and define the most important topics. Together we decide on the inventors, companies, and/or patent categories you want to monitor.

Once the list of topics is complete, we set up the patent monitoring and alerting. You will then start to receive a regular e-mail from your patent attorney with an informative report, which you can simply share with your colleagues.

Costs of patent monitoring and alerting

All patent monitoring and alerting is customised, even if it is just to ensure that you always receive usable results.

The costs of serious patent monitoring and alerting based on a combination of names and patent categories plus monthly reports could amount to € 2,000 per year. It could also cost less. It all depends on which information contributes to your organisation. And we can always start small.

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