What Is a Patent Watch and Do I Need One?: No matter the industry your company operates in, it is imperative that you keep a close eye on your competitors’ IP activity. In doing this, it becomes easier to pinpoint any patents/products that will infringe upon what you are inventing, manufacturing, or selling. A patent watch dives deep into the IP activity of your competitors, allowing you to have a bird’s eye view of their:
- IP dynamics
- Patent litigation
- R&D strategies
- Technology development
- Acquisitions and licenses
- Patent transfers
- Current patenting activities
Essentially, a patent watch enables you to stay at least one step ahead of your competitors.
A Closer Look at Patent Watches and How They Can Benefit Your Company
A patent watch gives you the latest information on the newest innovations that are taking place in the technology you are into. You’ll not only get to know the details on any new claimed inventions but you will also see the latest technology developments unfold before your eyes, allowing you to take advantage of them. Being aware of the latest technological solutions will motivate and serve as an inspiration to your R&D activities.
More so, a patent watch provides exclusive monitoring of newly-issued patents as well as published patent applications that have been filed but not yet granted. By having access to this information, you are provided with enough time to appropriately counteract any patents that may harm your business if the rights are issued. The goal of a patent watch is to make sure the products and processes you are using/selling are not covered by another party’s patent, meaning you are not infringing on the rights owned by others, nor is someone infringing your protected rights of the patents you already own.
Another notable benefit of a patent watch is that you can use it to track expired patents as well as abandoned patents. This enables you to pinpoint inventions that are soon to be available in the public domain. In knowing this information, you will be able to see which expired or abandoned patents are safe for you to use.
During a patent watch, if your technical team becomes aware of a patent that you may be infringing upon, you can use this information to quickly modify your product or design, thus helping you to avoid a patent infringement lawsuit. Your technical team can also conduct research and contact the patentee to determine if the patent you may be infringing upon is actually legal and valid.
Do I Need a Patent Watch?
If your company builds its own products or services, then yes, you need to have a patent watch. There are numerous forms of patent watches to invest in, including:
- Design watch
- Infringement watch
- Technical patent watch
- Trademark watch
- Competitor patent watch
- Patent legal status watch
Because there are various forms of patent watches to take advantage of, you should speak with a patent watch specialist to determine which types are best for your company and which ones will most help mitigate legal risks.