Keeping an eye on the competition - reviewing the activity surrounding patents


Ron Kaminecki and Jane List

It’s important to keep up to date on competitors’ activities in order to maximise your chances of success. Ron Kaminecki and Jane List explain.

As well as filing and maintaining your own patents, another aspect of managing a patent portfolio involves monitoring the activity of your competitors. This involves watching the progress of applications through the examination process, checking the legal status of others’ patents, and monitoring new inventions and the expansion of patent families. But what about other related activities?

Many companies are now partnering with others for R&D, or buying expertise or technologies needed to bring a product to market that may involve licensing patents from others.

As companies put increasing emphasis on maximising the potential of their patent portfolio by licensing, partnering and assigning patents that are outside of their core technology, the importance of looking outside of patent databases will also increase. Companies can exploit outside technologies by an assignment or a licence. An assignment gives the third party complete rights over the patent, whereas the licence may give the licensee rights over only certain aspects of the invention.

R&D, competition, INPADOC, licensing patents