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Thorough patent searches are vital to helping organizations innovate quickly while protecting their IP rights and making sound business decisions.
A patent search can help organizations:
- Identify new business opportunities. Conducting a landscape analysis helps identify gaps in your field and areas for which patents have not been granted. This can help focus investment efforts and maximize profits.
- Strengthen a competitive analysis. Keeping a pulse on competitors’ activities helps you identify relevant innovations early and inform decisions about which markets, geographies, and innovations to pursue.
- Defend against emerging threats. To protect IP assets and remain competitive, continually monitoring the external environment is essential. More often than not, companies are aware of the patents held by competitors and associated activity but lack a strategy that examines innovations happening where a competitor isn't patenting but is still pursuing activities that infringe on your existing IP.
With today’s accelerated pace of innovation, patent search demands are evolving. The competitive landscape is becoming more complex by the day, making it essential for organizations to access comprehensive, trustworthy IP insights to inform a business and R&D strategy.
Partnering with search experts in your industry and investing in tools sophisticated enough for your innovations can help you access and utilize IP information across the organization.
The why: Build harmony and efficiency between IP and R&D
Thorough patent and landscape searches in scientific fields are time-consuming and resource-intensive due to the volume, speed, and complexity of innovation coupled with rapidly evolving technology.
Holes in a company's IP search strategy or reliance on incomplete data sources can lead to missed information that would help inform critical investment and R&D decisions.
Too frequently, IP search comprehensiveness and reliability are limited by an analyst’s area of expertise, bandwidth, and search tools. These limitations can lead to costly delays and gaps in the organization’s R&D and IP strategy. Partnering with experts with a history of success in your field can ensure you have access to the information you need to ensure your IP search activities are thorough, consistent, and efficient.
Another challenge lingers at the R&D level, where researchers often do not have time, access, or experience with IP searches. To maximize opportunities and streamline IP initiatives, organizations must enable their R&D team members with access to insights from in-house patent analysts and tools to support them in leveraging IP insights throughout their development cycle.
A trusted partner can help by:
Accelerating patent landscape searches. With the chemical and life science fields constantly changing, time is of the essence in identifying gaps in competitive landscapes for business decisions. Working with IP search partners familiar with the technology, terminology, and industry will speed up your search process.
Look for a partner that provides access to comprehensive content and workflow solutions designed for scientific and IP search to help you help you execute a comprehensive search and generate actionable insights.
Providing R&D support. Partners can help identify areas of opportunity in your field by enabling you to access insight into gaps, risk areas, and areas for research opportunity. Furthermore, trusted partners can help you more effectively formulate searches, share result sets with your stakeholders, and set up monitoring programs to ensure you can stay ahead of any changes.
Lightening your workload. Completing a comprehensive, yet efficient search can be daunting, particularly within the chemistry and life science space. Working with a trusted partner can connect you to reliable expertise when you need it most to address gaps in your capacity or subject matter expertise. A partner can collaborate with your existing patent searchers and help accelerate initiatives without forcing you to run thin.
The first step to the how: Understand what makes an ideal patent search partner
With the right partner by your side, you can feel confident in your ability to execute the searches you need to inform R&D efforts.
An ideal partner should:
Be an expert in the subject matter you are working in, leading to valuable insights about the subject matter that go beyond the surface level.
Connect you to a comprehensive corpus of source information. The value of an IP search is only as good as the sources of information and your ability to precisely hone in on relevant results. An ideal partner will understand the critical nature of this work and provide access to a wide global collection of relevant information.
Design and offer tools with scientific IP search in mind. Expertise and access to content can only get you so far. The technology used to access that content is where you’ll find some of the greatest efficiency boosts in a patent search. An ideal partner will offer IP search tools that augment your workflow, grant you access to relevant, up-to-date content, and offer features and capabilities that enable efficient, thorough search and insight sharing between teams.
The second step to the how: Ask the right questions before committing
Before you commit to working with a particular partner or using a specific tool for your patent searches, make sure that you ask these questions to get the best possible outcome:
- What patent and non-patent information sources and databases do we have access to? Are these rich enough and vast enough for my scientific and technical area?
- How do your tools and services help us communicate patent search results to key stakeholders?
- What measures are in place to ensure confidentiality with my innovation?
If you're searching for an ideal partner to help with your IP searches, look no further than CAS, whose capabilities and tools provide what you need.
Gain a competitive advantage with CAS
Ensure comprehensive search
The reliability of search results is only as good as the data you have access to. CAS STNextⓇ (software within the STN IP Protection SuiteTM), offers patent analysts access to the most comprehensive collection of global databases, scientist-curated content, and patent information with powerful precision search and analysis tools.
IP searches across multiple domains such as pharmaceuticals, life sciences, chemical engineering, functional materials, and personal care products to become more reliable, complete, and insightful when you add CAS STNext to your arsenal.
Expand your team’s expertise Partners with scientific and IP knowledge, such as CAS, can fill knowledge gaps, allowing them to not only help you strategize your patent search, but also develop patent search tools and data collections that meet the needs specific to your scientific field.
STN IP Protection Suite users also gain access to trusted IP search experts who have experience managing search strategies for patent preparation and prosecution, litigation, IP monetization, competitive analysis, product and safety monitoring, whitespace analysis, and other patent program activities.
Save hours of searching and reviewing patent results Tools and databases built for your industry will include content, search, and workflow features to help you move from initial search to decision faster.
For instance, when analyzing inventions in the engineering field, properties such as viscosity, electrical conductivity, and luminous intensity are often expressed by ranges. This makes it challenging to execute a precise search for these patents. CAS STNextⓇ within the STN IP Protection Suite offers numeric property search features that enable you to input values or ranges with precision, even converting units if necessary. Tools with advanced, technology-specific search features quicken the process of finding relevant information.
Efficiently monitor the global patent landscape
Litigations and infringements — we want to avoid them, predict them, and effectively address them when needed. FIZ PatMon, included in the STN IP Protection Suite, allows you to keep a pulse on patent changes in your industry so you can track what competitors are doing and protect your IP portfolio. Offering sophisticated alert options that range from comprehensive monitoring to specific filters, you can keep a close eye on new filings and activity.
With CAS, you can rest assured that your business has access to the information it needs when making important innovation, R&D, or IP protection decisions.
Looking for more information? Check out these resources:
- Article: Mind the gap: Overcoming a common blind spot in IP portfolio valuation
- Article: Mind the gap: Are you missing patents that could cost you millions?
- Article: Mind the gap: Spanning the divide between patents and journal articles
- Webinar: The Nexus of IP and R&D: Building Greater Collaboration to Drive Innovation