Knowledge of competitors’ activities can be key to a company’s success. Companies in highly competitive environments want to know what their competitors are designing and the direction(s) they are headed to in the future. Companies also want to know if new competitors are entering important markets or if existing competitors are expanding into new areas.
Patent alerts or watches can be a valuable tool for monitoring competitors’ patent activities. They can be used to monitor published patent applications and newly issued patents of specific competitors or particular technology fields. Consistent review of competitors’ patent activity provides insight into their future plans, alerts you to potentially problematic patent properties and may identify potential acquisition properties.
If problem patents or applications are identified early enough, developing products can be designed to limit risks related to those patents or applications, and/or to improve upon competitive designs. One may also seek a license or other business arrangement with the owner of a problematic patent before a new product launch. Another advantage of identifying problematic patents/applications early on is that a company will have the opportunity to investigate the validity of the patent prior to the launch of a new product. Watches also provide an opportunity to consider initiating proceedings to challenge the patent through patent offices before expensive federal litigation is filed.
Patent watches and alerts can be a valuable tool to keep you one step ahead of your competitors.
To learn more about how Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel LLP intellectual property lawyers can help you, contact us.