Elisa Wall
Topics: Patent Law Subscribe

Strategic market focus supported by technology monitoring

First published 30 April 2024 by Elisa Wall

For strategic decisions on technology development, startups and SMEs need to keep an overview on their industry's tech landscape and are constantly seeking inspiration for further development.

 Patent databases constitute a vast information source for gaining overview on a field of technology. They can be browsed with a search string comprising both keywords and metadata on patents (examples of metadata being owner, inventor or technological class of a patent or patent application).

 The acquired information enables, inter alia:

  • gaining business intelligence on general trends as well as activities of competitors or collaboration partners; and
  • avoiding unnecessary R&D effort by harnessing technology from patents not or no longer enforceable in a certain geographical region.

More benefits of the acquired information can be found here.

Public search databases offer a solid foundation for conducting basic searches using Boolean logic. The most commonly used are:

However, most public search databases primarily provide information related to documents filed within their geographical scope, and their results therefore do not ensure completeness.

Moreover, as with any online platform, it is crucial to remain mindful of data privacy when inserting information into the platform.

Furthermore, to obtain optimized insights, it is of great advantage to craft a search string tailored to its use-case based on a deeper understanding of the intricacies of the underlying databases.

And most importantly, it requires expert knowledge to thoroughly evaluate the legal implications of the acquired information, for instance if a product under development does not infringe a valid patent.

For expertise assistance, consult your patent attorney on how to conduct such an optimized search across patent registers worldwide and how to assess these legal implications.

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