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Patent analytics is a process to carry out a planned and insightful analysis. It includes several activities such as novelty search, patentability search, prior art search, state of the art search, invalidity search, validity search, FTO search, Patent/Technology Landscape, etc. Based on the requirement, one can choose one of these activities.
Let us understand the above-mentioned activities one by one with some examples and scenarios:
Novelty Search: It is a process to check if an invention or feature(s) of an invention is new throughout the world. It can be done by doing a novelty search or prior art search.
Let us understand it with the help of an example. Suppose you have come up with an invention and want to protect it from being copied by others. Then you may apply for a patent to protect it. It helps you in getting your legal rights. For a Patent, your invention should pass one of the mandatory requirements which is novelty. The novelty means that at least one feature of your invention should be new across the world. Suppose your invention has three features then at least one feature should be new across the world. All features of your invention should not be disclosed in a single document. You must know that getting a Patent is a difficult and costly process. So, before applying for a Patent you can check if at least one feature of your invention is new across the world and all features are not disclosed in a single document.
So, it is always advised to perform novelty search or prior art search before applying for a Patent. The purpose of novelty search is to scope out the novelty in an invention and take an informed decision for moving forward with the Patent process. It helps in reducing the chance of rejection of the patent at a later stage. Once you apply for a Patent, the Patent Office examines it and if they find any similar prior art during prior art search or examination process, they may reject your Patent application.
In a case, suppose after doing the prior art search, you have found that your invention is overlapping with the existing prior art. Then you can change your plan and work on your invention to make it new so that it does not overlap with the existing prior art. You can apply for a Patent with better chances for getting a Patent for your invention after modifying your invention.
Patentability Search: It is a process to check the patentability of an invention. In this process, you check novelty in your invention along with other requirements of Patent such as inventive step, industrial application, and related applicable laws.
This process gives you a detailed overview of your invention and suggest possible hurdles you may face during the examination. So, this search process helps you in making a better plan for improving the chances of a Patent grant.
Invalidity/ Validity analysis: This process is performed to validate the granted Patent or to invalidate the granted Patent.
Let us understand it with the help of an example. Suppose your competitor is controlling a market by taking monopoly over the technology with the help of Patent rights. You found a prior art which is overlapping with the competitor’s Patent. The prior art so found was present in the public domain before the priority date of the competitor’s Patent. In this case, you can invalidate competitor’s Patent with help of the prior art. Similarly, you may perform an analysis to be sure about validity of a Patent.
FTO Search: This process is carried out to check if the product or process is infringing on any Patent(s) owned by others. One can perform FTO search before launching a product or process in the market of a country. FTO search is also known as Freedom to Operate Search or clearance search or infringement search.
It is important to conduct FTO search to avoid infringement. A search can be done to identify any active Patent(s) which may exist and cause a hurdle to the launch or sale of the product or process.
Let us understand it with the help of an example. Suppose you are launching a product in India. In that case, it is advisable to conduct FTO search in India before launching the product. The search can help you to identify any possible active Patent like your product.
In a case, where the search shows that your product is infringing on the active Patent then you may take necessary action to avoid the infringement.
State of the Art Search: It is carried out to understand about the status of a given technology field. It may include analysis of Patents, Non-Patent Literatures (NPLs) or any information related to the particular technology present in the public domain.
Let us understand it with the help of an example. Suppose you are working on some technology area for solving certain problem and want to know about the similar available solution. In that case, you may perform State of the Art Search to collect and study available information and based on that you may plan your research and development. It may give you an overview of the technology area and guide you for the next steps.
Patent/ Technology Landscape: It is performed for getting birds eye view of the technology area. It includes detailed analysis of Patent data for getting an insight. It may give you an overview of top patent owners, and country wise Patent filing trends. It may also give you technology progress trends, and future forecasts of technology, etc.
Let us understand it with the help of an example. Suppose you are working on a technology area and want to know about the background and present overview of the technology area so that you can make plan for your research and development. In that case you may perform this analysis.
From the above discussion, it can be concluded that Patent analytics is a planned and careful Patent analysis process that depends upon one’s requirement. One can perform different kinds of Patent analysis based on the requirement.
You may perform the Patent analysis by yourself. However, Patent analysis is a difficult process which required training, understanding of law, and professional search tools. Important decisions related to your company’s future depend on this analysis. So, it is advisable to take help of experts for the Patent analysis for arriving at informed decision.
We provide Patent analytics service to various big corporates, small and medium organizations, Start-ups, etc. We would be happy to assist you with any of your queries related to Patent analytics. We have a strong technical and analytical team with in-depth Patent knowledge.
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