Guide your investment into productive development areas and monitor competitor activity. Conducting patent searches at an early stage of new product development is vital. It can avoid wasted investment caused by re-inventing the wheel and by identifying barriers to entry from earlier patents and designs.
Searching is also an important tool for assessing whether the costs of applying for patent protection are merited. Our tailored patent searching services provide increased confidence at a cost that is acceptable.
Landscape and scoping searches
Before investing in research and development, searching can be undertaken to identify earlier solutions to similar problems. The discoveries at this stage can help push research more quickly to an advanced or more focused stage by extending or improving the developments of others, rather than starting from scratch.
On the other hand, one or more patents may be identified that would make it difficult to put a competing product on the market. These barriers are best identified at an early stage before incurring research and even production costs.
This is more focused searching, assessing whether a particular development is new and likely to be sufficiently different from earlier developments, that patent protection is available and what the likely scope of protection will be. Of the many factors that feed into deciding whether to proceed with patent applications, novelty can be one of the more easily evaluated.
Freedom to operate
The fact that a development may be new and potentially patentable does not mean you are necessarily free to commercialise an invention.
To illustrate this, imagine that the petrol-fuelled car had just been invented but that patent protection extended to a vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine. While there may have been no contemplation by that inventor that a vehicle could be powered by diesel fuel, such a patent would bar anyone from commercialising a vehicle powered by a diesel engine. To complicate things, the diesel engine inventor could obtain patent protection for their development and prevent anyone else from making and selling a diesel car, including the original inventor of the car.
Our experienced searchers can help navigate through these minefields, providing analysis that is clear and cost-effective.
Watching services can provide intelligence on new product developments by competitors. Often, patent applications are published and disclose developments before they appear on the market. Early identification of these can provide more time to adapt and compete, not allowing the competitor to springboard ahead.
Watching is also an important follow-on from freedom to operate searching, tracking what protection is ultimately granted to third parties based on pending applications and whether they are a commercialisation risk.
Designed for your needs
Talk to our team today to find the package of searching services best suited for you.