Many professionals in the patent industry assumed that due to the COVID19 pandemic, the number of patent and trademark applications would dwindle for at least a couple of years. But, the exact opposite is the case. In the post-pandemic era, patent and trademark applicants have utilized the growth of the internet economy to file numerous trademark and patent applications at the USPTO.
The Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently reported that in 2021, the agency received 63% more trademark and patent applications. That’s 211,000 additional filings compared to the same period in 2020! This massive surge in patent application filings means that companies and inventors across the globe need to be much more informed than they initially thought they would.
Bear in mind – the information contained in these new patent applications is not published anywhere else. Unlike other sources of information, patent documents offer a unique peek into the world of technical product developments. They paint a clear picture of how major corporations, universities, and research institutions across the world are viewing the future.
The Role of Patent Landscape Analyses
The surge in patent application filings poses a major challenge for modern-day companies aiming to develop innovative products. They need to find critical and relevant patent-related information in specific technological fields. By analyzing this rare and detailed information, they can improve their decision-making skills when it comes to investing in new patent projects.
By conducting patent landscape analyses, companies can understand innovation activities in their specific fields –
- Who are the main inventors in a specific field?
- Which patents (related to specific fields) are being filed in what geographical locations?
- How long does it take for different types of innovations to reach the market?
- Which companies are disclosing relevant product features?
- What major technologies/industries are being pursued by leading corporations, research institutions, etc.?
- Which organizations are specializing in the area of innovation that your company is interested in?
Using the information from these analyses, a company can-
- Establish well-informed and cost-based patent strategies.
- Improve in-house research and development processes.
- Avoid spending time, effort, and money on identical technologies.
- Reduce the risks of future infringement allegations.
- Identify licensing targets.
- Monitor competitor activities.
- Invest in a novel technology that no one else is pursuing.
Several estimates suggest that almost 80% of all published information regarding science/technology can only be found in patents as they are not published anywhere else. Thankfully, there are tens of millions of patent application references and published patents that can be accessed by the public for review. But, can non-specialists tackle this overwhelming treasure trove of information? The short answer is no.
The Need for Professional Assistance
The world’s leading patent landscape analysis experts have years of experience providing patent mapping services. These experts typically employ full-time searchers and cover multiple areas of technology. Many even offer multi-lingual services. These experts frequently assess scientific literature, journal articles, previous patents, conference papers, etc.
Their understanding of how to assess knowledge libraries, irrespective of the country or the language, gives them a major edge over non-specialists. You can set up an in-house patent mapping team. But, such a team wouldn’t have the experience or the access to advanced searching tools and techniques. That’s why when major corporations need important technical, legal, or business data to be extracted – they hire these experts.
Why Companies Acquire these Services
Major corporations and investors have already realized that intellectual property (especially patents) gives their organizations unique monetization opportunities. To make sure they don’t blindly pursue these opportunities, they hire patent landscape analyses experts. These experts employ software and human intelligence to evaluate, arrange, and extract value from wide-ranging patent search results in specific fields.
The information these patent-searching experts provide enables companies to –
- Discover and recruit leading innovators in specific fields; the patent-searching experts can collaborate with a company’s HR department to help them scout high-level strategists, innovative thinkers, etc.
- Discover new “areas” for investment based on the opportunities and risks that the patent-searching experts notice. For example, instead of entering a competitive R&D battle with a company that is already well-established in a specific field, patent-searching experts can inform their clients about new product development initiatives that are relatively unexplored.
- Patent-searching experts can also help companies identify sustainable growth strategies in specific patent fields. They can assess patent filing trends and conduct market research to determine which “commercial stage” a specific type of technology is currently in. Is the technology that your company is interested in, in an “infancy” stage, a “mature” stage, or a “declining” stage?
Be it in-house legal teams, research and development crews, or even marketing and human resource teams – every department of an organization can benefit from the knowledge that professional patent-searching experts provide in their landscape analysis reports. That’s why experienced patent mapping experts are currently in such high demand!Last modified: July 19, 2021