Patent documents are a reliable source of information regarding technology trends and actual developments of competitors. The regular patent monitoring determines patents and utility models which were published by the patent offices during the last month or week.
Synonyms are alerts or SDI (selective dissemination of information).
Why industrial property rights should be monitored
The information disclosed in patent documents are published frequently only in patent documents. The inventions are not necessarily described in leaflets, journals or other literature.
Patent monitoring helps saving costs due to avoiding duplicate inventions. That prevents the development of products which cannot be produced because of patent protection. It also offers protection against negative legal effects of patent infringement.
Companies can buy or offer licences or find alternative technical solutions which are off-patent and free of other utility models. Against German or European patents, opposition can be raised within a period of objection of 9 month. According to the annual report of the German Federal Patent Court there were more than 800 pending actions in 2014.
What should be included in patent monitoring?
Monitoring should include countries in which your company operates as well as all markets where your products are sold. The basic coverage is formed by European patent applications and patents, and German published applications (Offenlegungsschrift), patents and utility models. International patent applications under the PCT, US-American patent applications and patents complete the patent monitoring. Asian patents become more important. In addition, publications of other national patent authorities are included on demand.
Are you interested in documents cited in the search and examining procedures? Then European and international search reports should be included in patent monitoring.
Patent families are based on patent applications whose priority was also claimed in other countries. References to already evaluated patent family members from previous workflows speed up the patent work. The search profiles contain relevant search criteria.
Developing search profiles
One or more patent profiles are the basis for frequent patent monitoring. We build search strategies depending on the product diversity and structure of your company.
Thematically structured search profiles contain property rights which are of interest for a department or research team. The profiles can also be subdivided into competitors, fields of technology or keywords.
Patents of competitors indicate their fields of research and development. That allows conclusions about actual technology trends. Patent applications of certain inventors also reveal the direction of developments.
The international patent classification IPC and the Cooperative Patent Classification CPC classify different fields independent of the patent document's language. They are an important tool for patent monitoring.
Keywords can limit the data quantity in case that competitors or IPC notations deliver too many results.
We support you in developing and optimising your search strategies by using statistical analyses.
Products for patent monitoring
You find an overview of our patent monitoring products on our product page.