How 5G is Transforming the Healthcare Industry

From facilitating the remote diagnosis of the Covid virus to autonomous driving robots inside the operating room, the advent of 5G networks in healthcare will be one of the best things to happen for the healthcare industry. With its massive connection power and high speed, it has a lot to offer and revolutionize healthcare. 

 

Investments in healthcare technology have increased because of Covid-19. There was a 19% increase in healthcare investments in 2020 when compared with 2019, to the tune of $9.1 billion. According to Gartner, the 5G network infrastructure has risen worldwide by 39% in 2021. 

 

What is 5G?

It is the fifth generation of wireless network technology and is an advanced version of the 4th generation. 1G focused on improving voice quality, 2G did the same, but it also offered consumers the ability to send and receive text messages. 3G was released during the time internet was brought to our phones, 4G was all about data sharing and faster wireless internet connectivity. With 5G networks, we are promised incredibly fast connectivity, extremely low latency, and widespread coverage

 

What is the relevance of 5G in healthcare?

The cost of healthcare is seeing a steep increase, and the Covid-19 pandemic has only added to its woes. Inefficient processes, government policies, aging population, disease incidence, and medical service utilization contribute to the increase in healthcare costs.

 

Some of the biggest technologies in the world such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), IoT, big data, etc, contribute to the development of the healthcare experience for patients. They also help reduce costs for the hospitals. 

 

For example, AI/ML helps in the diagnosis of certain diseases based on the symptoms. Faster communication and a seamless network make telemedicine a reality. But there are problems such as slow network speeds and low latency that don’t help the cause at times. This is where 5G networks can completely change the game for healthcare providers. 

 

While many use cases were explored in healthcare, some of them didn’t meet expectations because of the limitations in the incumbent communication networks. Thanks to features such as low latency, high speed, and fast data transfer rate, 5G will be able to resolve some of the biggest challenges. 

 

What is the need for 5G in healthcare? 

 

  • Better security and reliability:

5G gives secure and more reliable service due to better use of bandwidth and more connection points. Because of this, 5G is able to provide ubiquitous coverage too. For healthcare applications, reliable and timely data transmission is pivotal, especially in areas such as augmented-reality powered robotic surgeries, connected ambulances, remote patient monitoring, and so on. Thanks to 5G’s better privacy protection, advanced encryption protocols, software-defined setup, and authentication framework, the networks are more secure. 

 

  • Helps expand telemedicine:

Market Research Future says that the telemedicine market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16.5% from 2017 to 2023. The study says that the increased demand is because of government initiatives. For telemedicine to work successfully, it requires a network that offers high-quality video in real-time. Telemedicine is bolstered by the fact that it can enable mobile networks to work seamlessly. Patients who do not often get access to specialists will be able to get proper healthcare because of 5G networks. 

 

  • Connected ambulances:

Connected ambulances help emergency services collect important and real-time information about the patient through sensors, wearables, and streaming HD cameras, while the patient is being taken to a healthcare center. Thanks to this, the healthcare staff have a much better understanding of what the patient requires even before they arrive at the hospital. In serious situations, specialist doctors can even guide the paramedics through certain procedures without having to travel to hospitals. 

 

Connected ambulances cannot be implemented without 5G’s capabilities. Real-time data transfer is pivotal in emergency situations as even minor decisions can have a lot of bearing on patient outcomes. The high bandwidth that 5G offers enables the video to be live-streamed without seeing a dip in quality. Apart from these two, the 5G network’s increased reliability and security make it a must-have for the healthcare industry.

 

  • Video-enabled medication adherence:

Making sure that patients take their prescriptions is a big challenge in the healthcare industry. Patients with chronic diseases will not be able to function properly if they do not take their medicines on time. 5G tackles this problem by connecting pharmacists and care providers directly to the patient to ensure that the medicines are taken on time. 

 

  • Clinical collaboration:

Lengthy wait times to get the correct diagnosis can result in a poor experience for the patient, it can even end up harming them adversely. Most of the time, the doctors will be waiting for the results of tests that are being diagnosed in the same healthcare center. Collaboration and communication become a problem and it slows down the progress of the treatment. 

A healthcare center that has a 5G platform can easily solve this problem as lab technicians will be able to transfer large files without compromising the quality. The 5G platform connects all the devices within the hospital, starting from medical equipment to devices handled by the caregivers, solving the problem of data accessibility.  

 

  • Medical Sensors:

Wearable devices have seen huge strides in adoption as well as an increase in their use cases. A wearable fitness device can monitor your heart rate, skin temperature, ECG, SpO2, sleep cycle, and even your stress levels. With more such technologies facilitating remote patient care and monitoring, the treatment and experience of the patient improve by a huge margin. 

 

Hospitals can even use smartphone cameras to detect melanoma, monitor skin infections, analyze patient injuries, eye problems, etc. The wireless medical sensors can even be used in administering and monitoring medication. 

 

  • Real-time remote monitoring:

With the help of IoT devices, healthcare providers can monitor the data of patients to provide timely and personalized care. It also increases patients’ engagement with their own health. One of the biggest obstacles to the success of remote monitoring is the capacity of networks to handle the data. When the connection is unreliable, the healthcare service providers will not be able to make quick decisions. 

5G enables real-time remote monitoring because of the following reasons: 

  • Increased capacity to handle a number of connected devices per square kilometer
  • Provides greater reliability and security for the connected devices
  • Offers greater mobility 

 

  • AR/VR for the blind:

Those who have poor or zero vision will find it difficult to do day-to-day tasks that are easy for others. With the help of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

headset, or a pair of video streaming glasses, visually challenged people can be connected to a real-time person who will guide them in doing their daily activities. 

 

5G helps AR/VR systems to help the visually challenged at scale because:

  • 5G’s low latency allows the video to be streamlined in real-time, and it is crucial as a light delay might result in mishaps
  • The higher bandwidth that 5G offers allows for higher video quality 
  • Many of the AR/VR activities will happen seamlessly because of the mobility that 5G offers

 

  • Distraction and Rehabilitative Therapy:

AR and VR can also be used extensively in hospitals to offer a better experience for the patients, especially in distraction and rehabilitative therapy. To give an example of how AR/VR can be used in distraction therapy, we can take the example of a patient who has a phobia of needles. The patient can wear the AR/VR headset, they can choose cloud-streamed videos, and they will be transported to a completely different environment. 

 

  •  Better patient-doctor relationship:

To give and receive proper care, the relationship between patients and doctors should be great. Thanks to 5G, the communication between both parties happens seamlessly.  Artificial intelligence and interconnected sensors can analyze the interactions between patients and the staff. With 5G, there will be better outcomes and much more personalized care. Integration of 5G can also increase the access of doctors. With the help of fast data speeds, patients can interact with doctors from afar. Patients wouldn’t have to walk into a hospital for every minor ailment. By using video chats, they can assess which ones require in-hospital visits. 

 

  • Healthcare automation:

Hospitals can leverage the applications, data, and infrastructure that 5G networks will open up to stay a step ahead of their competitors. They can greatly increase their speed, ability to handle complexity, and scale of business operations. Automation plays a huge role in maximizing healthcare value. With the help of 5G, hospitals can automate pivotal business processes and workflows. Potential delays or failures can be detected with the help of predictive analysis before they happen, thereby making them ready for immediate remediation. 

 

  • Telesurgery: 

Telesurgery requires medical information like audio, videos, and images, to be digitized and transmitted wirelessly via telecommunication networks. Telesurgeries are rare because of concerns over internet reliability and infrastructure. The data connection has to be fast if surgeries have to be remotely monitored. There’s good reason to believe that 5G will make telesurgery a possibility. 

 

Conclusion:

The potential of 5G in healthcare is immense, there are many more applications of this technology. It can improve the quality of the care, reduce the care cost, offer a better patient experience, and more. As the use of 5G in healthcare increases, we will see a connected healthcare ecosystem taking shape that will change the way we receive care. Ultimately, this paves way for better healthcare for everyone. 

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Senior Leadership at Researchwire Recognized on IAM Strategy 300, 2021

Co-Founder, Praveen Singh named on the list of The World’s Leading IP Strategists.

 

The IAM Strategy 300 identifies the leading corporate professionals who are from global patent community and were nominated for individuals  inclusion. Only those individuals identified by market sources for their exceptional skill sets and profound insights into patent matters are featured.

Researchwire‘s Co-Founder Praveen Singh, was  recognized and ranked in IAM300 for IP Management and this is a prolific achievements. Researchwire is a family of diverse hi-tech professionals and it makes us proud when our senior  mentor leadership is recognized in a global community of IP professionals in IAM.

We highly appreciate IAM for recognizing our contribution to the domain of patent research, AI, semiconductor reverse engineering, and emerging markets!

As we evolve with the growing need for technology space imbibed with research and automation, we are happy to embark on the journey with the best wishes of all our clients and well-wishers for believing in us.

 

Full interview covered at IAM:  https://www.iam-media.com/survey/strategy-300-global-leaders/2022/article/praveen-singh

For more information:

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Why is patent due diligence important for your organization?

Hewlett-Packard (HP), the information technology giant, bought Autonomy for $11.1 billion, in 2012. They wanted to move away from computer hardware to computer software and buying Autonomy seemed like the smartest move to make. Inaccurate income statements, balance sheets, cash flows, and footnotes were a part of the due diligence oversight. Within 14 months after the deal, HP sold Autonomy by writing down more than 80% of the purchase price. 

 

If HP had followed the due diligence practices that they regularly did, they shouldn’t have had to write down the value of their purchase. Organizations should be mindful of following due diligence if they don’t want a botched deal. 

 

What is patent due diligence?

The process of carefully analyzing a company’s patent portfolio is called patent due diligence. It audits the quantity and the quality of IP assets owned by or licensed to a company, business, or individual. The assessment also includes how intellectual property is captured and protected by the business. 

IP due diligence is usually performed by a prospective buyer in relation to the IP assets of the target company. It can also be carried out by a company on its own assets in preparation for a business sale or to close a licensing deal. It tells you whether you can monetize your patents through licensing, enforcement or divestment. 

It also helps you assess the infringement risks posed by competitors’ patents or the patents of another business. 

 

Why conduct IP due diligence?

IP assets have become one of the most important assets that businesses could own. Therefore, it is imperative for businesses to understand the following: 

  • The quantity and quality of the IPs with them so that 3rd parties can put a value on them 
  • To identify IP assets that are not being used currently and whose maintenance costs are being unnecessarily paid
  • To assess whether all the IP assets are adequately protected 
  • To ensure that you have all the necessary rights to your IP assets in order
  • To check whether a third party is infringing on your IP rights 

 

When should a patent due diligence be performed? 

 

  • After you receive a Cease and Desist Letter, or a Notice Letter:

A cease and desist letter or notice is usually sent as a warning to infringers about the existence of the patent rights to initiate licensing discussions, enforce their patent rights, or secure the opportunity to collect damages. 

Such letters claim that the accused infringer stop their infringing conduct immediately. If a company receives such letters, it should ensure that they have a strategy in place to respond properly and reduce its risks. 

They should note the depth of the infringement analysis (usually provided by the patent holder). It will have details about the patent expiry date, and applicable state statutes which talk about the consequences of acting in bad faith. 

 

  • During Mergers & Acquisitions:

During an M&A transaction, the following things are assessed, whether the seller’s patent portfolios include critical company technology to confirm if all fees have been paid and no ownership issues or chain of title defects exist. Following these steps will permit the parties to assign a monetary value to the portfolio. The analysis at this stage can also include assessing the patent infringement risks posed by third-party patents on the technology that is going to be acquired. 

 

  • During divestment, or licensing

Divestment and licensing strategies allow the patent owners to determine how their patents will be utilized. If their portfolio affords broad patent protection, then the value of the technology is high. Valuing patents can be performed in a number of techniques, both quantitative and qualitative. Qualitative analysis helps in determining the scope and strength of the patent rights. On the other hand, a quantitative analysis leverages these findings to assign a monetary value to those rights.

 

  • For contingency reasons:

Patent due diligence can also be done for contingency reasons. If you believe that you might be sued for infringement, and would like to have a deeper understanding of your patent portfolio and how it fares against your competitor’s, then it is wise to conduct patent due diligence. Let’s say you are planning to sue a company that is infringing on your patents, then it is wise to invest in conducting patent due diligence.

 

  • Before filing a patent application:

Patent due diligence is also performed before filing a patent application. They are performed to identify and assess prior art references.

 

How to Conduct IP due diligence. 

Conducting IP due diligence requires professional skills and has to be done thoroughly. IP due diligence should be performed during the initial stages of negotiations itself. By doing so, you will identify if there are any legal issues that affect the value of the IP. While every business transaction is different, there are a set of requirements that should be met when conducting IP due diligence. Here are a few of them. 

 

  • Identify IP assets: 

You need to find the patents, trademarks, brand names, domain names, and any other tangible and intangible assets of the company that you are investigating. 

 

  • Verify ownership and existence of IP: 

One of the first things that are usually investigated during an IP due diligence process is IP ownership. To establish and recognize the seller’s rights, a series of questions are asked about each of the IP assets that are being considered. The IP assets should be easily transferable and there should not be any disputes. If there are disputes, it becomes difficult for the seller to transfer the title and rights of the IP asset to other parties. 

 

  • Check for areas covered in the IP

When you’re validating each IP asset, it is imperative that you check for the countries where IP rights are covered. Therefore, you need to identify which of the territories are protected. If the business operates in multiple countries and has not secured their rights in all the areas where they operate, you might not be able to leverage the IP in those areas. Do remember that IP assets like copyrights and patents are only valid for a certain period of time. You need to study the local IP laws of each directory to check the validity.

 

  • Checking for third party claims:

Apart from identifying IP ownership, it is also wise to check if there are any third-party claims with respect to the seller’s IP assets. There are times when a third-party might have got rights to an IP asset unknowingly. You need to check all the license agreements, franchisee agreements, joint venture agreements, MOUs, and other contracts to ascertain that you will be receiving exclusive rights once you buy the IP assets from the seller. 

 

  • Evaluate potential IP infringements:  

You also need to ascertain whether a third party is infringing on the seller’s IP rights or if the seller’s IP rights are infringing on another company’s assets. In either of these cases, the disputes that arise from it will negatively affect your business. You have to mandatorily conduct a freedom-to-operate search to check whether the investor can make use or sell their IP assets without infringing on any third-party rights. 

 

An FTO search will give you deeper insights into patent rights and tell you if there are any other roadblocks that you need to be careful about. It’s the FTO searches that show any roadblocks. You need to take the necessary steps to overcome them.

 

Steps to conduct due diligence properly:

  1. Ensure that you have a proper IP due diligence team in place. Discuss with IP professionals to see what can be expected from the transactions.
  2. Come up with an IP due diligence checklist based on what is necessary. 
  3. Segment the IP assets of the target that is relevant for the transaction. Segregate IP rights or protectable intangible insights from those that are not relevant. The IP due diligence should show the importance of connecting such additional IP rights with the main IP rights for the transaction. 
  4. Find out the nitty-gritty when it comes to IP ownership. Ensure that you collect information on other IP rights that might pose an issue in the future. 
  5. It is important that the facts collected are also double-checked so that there is no discrepancy. 
  6. Analyze the protected and protectable IP rights. Check for the IP’s status, validity, ownership, claim, and conflict. 
  7. After conducting all the above, prepare the final due diligence report. It should highlight the risks that are a part of the strategies and ways to reduce the risks and the liabilities. 
  8. Document, execute, and record the IP agreements. 

 

Conclusion:

Conducting due diligence is a non-negotiable activity for businesses to mitigate the risks involved. It should be done no matter what your IP portfolio composition looks like. Having a proper due diligence strategy and following it rightly provides a world of benefits for all the stakeholders involved. 

If you are looking for an end-to-end IP services firm to help with patent due diligence, ResearchWire will be glad to help you with it. Get on a call with us to understand how we can assist with your IP needs.  

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Everything you wanted to know about Freedom To Operate search

Also known as infringement analysis or clearance search, the objective of freedom to operate search is to check if any product or process utilised is infringing on a live patent’s claim. If there is no due diligence, the chances of infringing on someone’s intellectual property is high. An effective FTO search is what you need to do to stay safe from the dangers of litigation. 

 

What is Freedom to Operate Search?

It is used to find out if there is the freedom to operate and invent in a particular jurisdiction from a legal view.  If an FTO is found to be negative, then the entity aiming to operate the invention should not proceed to go ahead with the invention. 

An FTO search is part of the due diligence that organizations should carry out before they apply for a patent. A patent clearance search is also conducted during various places in the innovation process so that there is a proper allocation of R&D resources. When you conduct a thorough FTO search, it demonstrates due diligence on your part if you were to be ever accused of IP infringement. 

 

When should an FTO search be conducted? 

It should be conducted as early in the product development cycle as possible. Doing so will help avoid unnecessary costs, reduce the allocation of wasted resources, show opportunities to license existing technology,  save time, and mitigate the risk of litigation. A good FTO patent search can also enable the inventor an opportunity to develop a design ground early. 

 

Questions to consider before an FTO search?

Here are some of the questions that you should ask to determine your FTO search strategy. 

 

  1. Which stage of the innovation process are you in?

During the R&D process, you should have completed the FTO search a number of times. Depending on which stage of the innovation you are in, the way you approach the search will be different. Why? Because the claims in the potentially risky patent might change by the time you are ready to launch your product in the market.

      2. What is the investment for your invention?

If there is a lot of money involved, you should be sure about your freedom to operate. Ensure that you conduct extensive searches. For technologies (read inventions) that will only give a modest ROI, your FTO search need not be intensive. 

      3. What is your risk tolerance?

If you do not have much idea about your freedom to operate, then you have to be tolerant of the risk associated. Even risk-tolerant organizations might not want the threat of an infringement suit hanging against their heads. You might want to invest in a thorough FTO search at multiple points during the product development phase. 

      4. Does your industry patent often? 

There are some industries that are a lot more crowded with prior arts than others. If yours is an industry that creates patents often, then it is imperative that you conduct in-depth FTO searches. You can start by searching your direct competitor’s patents, industry-wide patent searches and utilize a search tool that has semantic and Boolean search capabilities. 

      5. Does litigation happen often in your industry?

Industries such as electrical equipment, biotech, electronics, consumers, telecommunication, will see a lot of patent infringement cases. If your product belongs to any of the industries mentioned above, then you need to protect yourself from infringement suits by conducting patent clearance searches. 

     6. Where will you operate?

The type of search strategy that you should use will depend on where you want to launch your product. 

 

Best Practices for Conducting Effective FTO Searches:

 

  • Jurisdiction Coverage:

FTO search is performed based on the jurisdiction where the inventor or company is likely to launch the products. It is necessary to consider and cover all the channels related to a particular jurisdiction. Otherwise, the searcher might miss important patents. 

 

  • Date restriction: 

While performing an FTO search, date restriction is an important aspect. Usually, all the alive patents are considered. Some alive patents might fall outside the 20-year criteria, even if they are not from the below-mentioned industries. One more thing to keep in mind is the domain in which the search has been conducted. There are domains like veterinary, pharmaceuticals, food additives, medical devices, etc., where there is the concept of patent term extension. 

The patent term extension cannot exceed five years. The aim is to offer an extension for the time period when the patent holder is waiting for regulatory approvals. Therefore, it’s pivotal to vary the date restriction based on the domain you are searching.

 

  • Targeting important domain players: 

There are important players who have a huge portfolio of patents in each domain. You should concentrate your searching efforts carefully to evaluate their updated portfolio. It is important that a searcher evaluate the portfolio of their company’s competitors and ensure that all-important patents owned by the competitors are being searched thoroughly. 

 

  • Citation search:

The backward and forward citations of a patent are usually the closest results to that particular patent in the domain. After the analysis is done, it is considered a best practice to do the citation search of the shortlisted patents. It will help the searcher to identify patents that could have been missed during the FTO search. It could be missed because of factors such as missing classification, translation mistakes or a missing keyword.

 

  • Similarity Search: 

Many databases provide you with a feature called the similarity search and it is crucial for FTO searching. This feature helps searchers identify close prior arts which might have been missed otherwise. Since each relevant patent has a huge significance with respect to FTO, we advise not to miss standard searching steps so that you can capture all the patents that disclose similar inventions. 

 

  • Patent Segregation to prioritize efforts:

Dividing the patents into different sets based on their claim length and legal status can help with effective searching and analysis. 

Claim Length: Comprehensive claim analysis of the patent is required during FTO searches. The scope of the invention is defined by the length of the main independent claim. As a rule, the shorter claim length of the main independent claim, it has a broader coverage of the domain. There are many searching databases, which provide the main independent claim length as a feature. 

Legal Status: It is also possible to divide the patent result as per the family legal status.

of the patent family. When you’re launching a product, only active and granted patents can pose obstacles. Therefore, these patents need to be carefully searched. 

 

  • Keywords and Classifications:

By searching the patents and products in the domain, it is possible to identify the keywords and classifications. Observe the diversified keywords that are used to disclose the same invention. You also need to track classifications throughout the search process as it’ll help you gain insights as to which class includes most of the patents of interest. Iterate the old strings with the help of updated keywords so that no obvious buttons are missed while reporting the FTO search.

 

  • Report the findings:  

The findings need to be put in an easy-to-understand manner. Ensure that there are no communication gaps by structuring the findings in the report properly. 

 

Categorizing the results:

The results should be categorized to define different sets of results in an easy way. At ResearchWire, we use the following labels- High, Medium and Low Risk. The claims of the ‘Relevant’ patents can be quite broad and the product could appear to infringe the protected subject matter of these patents. The ‘Potentially relevant’ and the ‘Related’ categories are patents whose claims might include a few restrictive features. The product may or may not be infringing on the claims.

 

Report the patents in the decreasing order:

For FTO searches, it is best to report the patents in the decreasing order of their risk level. It reduces the time taken by the client to check the results quickly. 

 

Legal Status:

The legal status is dynamic in nature as it gets updated regularly by the patent office. The update is based on factors such as patent life, the status of the maintenance fee payment, disputes, etc. While preparing the reports, make sure that you check the legal status of all the relevant patents. 

 

Latest claims:

Since the FTO patent search is a claim-oriented search, the latest claims and pending applications are considered for analysis. To ensure the best quality, each claim of all the active and granted patents should be ratified with the National patent office websites. 

 

Conclusion:

There is immense potential to calculate the chances of infringement in advance through FTO analysis. A correct FTO analysis can not only measure the probability of avoiding patent infringement litigation, but can also provide you with new business opportunities by showing what is available in the technology that you’ve chosen. It also minimizes the risks of infringement of the rights of third parties. 

Are you looking for a partner to take care of your Intellectual Property needs? The team at ResearchWire is capable of handling any type of IP issue that your company might be facing. We are experienced at building custom solutions for your specific intellectual property needs.

Get in touch with us to understand how we can help you. 

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How to leverage the full potential of Google Patent Search

There has been a tremendous improvement in patent searching in the past decade. The objective behind searching for patents is to find prior art for an existing patent or for an invention for which a patent application is yet to be filed. Earlier, searchers and inventors used to manually search, spending hundreds of hours to find invention(s) similar to their idea. 

 

A quick way to search for patents is using Google Patent Search. The world’s most popular search engine does more than just crawl websites to send you their search results. Google’s sister search engine Google Patent (Database from IFI Claims) can not only search scholarly literature, but it also has the ability to search a huge repository of non-patent literature too- software, applications, manuscripts, and published articles. Google Scholar lets you search government databases too, thus increasing the reach of the patent search. 

 

What is Google Patent Search?

It is a search engine powered by Google which indexes patents and patent applications. Google Patents indexes 87 million patents and patent applications, with full text from more than 17 patent offices around the world. Launched on December 14, 2006, it uses the same technology as Google Books. Google Patents includes text-searchable patents dating back as far as the 1790s. 

 

Advantages of Google Patents:

One of the biggest advantages of Google Patent Search is that it is free. Although there are a number of free patent databases such as Espacenet, PQAI, Lens.org, Patentscope by WIPO, and more, none of them matches Google’s in terms of user-friendliness. There is a lot of content to navigate for the average searcher, and the experience on these sites while browsing, is important, otherwise, it can be too difficult to get the work done. 

There are many paid databases too, but a solo inventor might not be able to cough up the costs to get the license for them. Google Patents has a much better interface than all of these paid databases. You will also be able to get the results faster, they are provided in an easy-to-share PDF format, and the information is presented in a digestible format. 

  • It understands results with PDF, image and citations
  • Its relevancy ranking makes quick searches a reality
  • The results can also be filtered by date
  • Proximity Operators can be leveraged to improve the score if the documents have expressions near one another
  • Keyword and class-based search is possible  in the patent documents
  • Co-operative Patent Classification (CPC) code searching is easier
  • Searching on Google Patents is similar to searching anything on Google
  • You can get the most relevant results for your search query.
  • It is possible to find prior arts 
  • Provides similar documents/patents to the subject patent

 

How to use Google Patent Search?

Quick Search:

If you want to conduct a quick search, all you need to do is enter the term in the search field box. The search term can be a set of unstructured words, a large block of text relating to the invention or keywords pertaining to the technology. 

 

The searcher can also enter the following to get information about related patents:

  • Application number
  • Exact phrases with double quotes
  • CPC code 
  • Country code
  • Language
  • Publication number
  • Search for the inventor or assignee

For example, we have entered the search term as ‘medical equipment,’ and we are shown a list of patents that are in the medical equipment field. You will be able to see a number of options on the left side using which you can further filter the search results. The results are sorted for relevance, you can use other sorting options such as newest or oldest. The searcher can navigate through the result pages to find relevant patents. 

 

Importance of Boolean Operators in Google Patent Search:

To fine-tune one’s queries, searchers should use boolean operators and special characters. One of the best ways to leverage Google Patent Search is to understand how it interprets search requests. Here is how you can use it to its full extent. 

 

  • Keyword search rules:
  • The keywords that you use must be exact and specific
  • Be aware of the right keyword order in which you need to input your search query. The search term medical equipment is going to fetch you more relevant results relating to medical equipment than ‘equipment medical.’ 
  • The keyword searches are not case-sensitive. 

 

  • The AND Assumption:

If you type the keyword medical equipment, Google Patent Search is always going to assume it to be medical and equipment. Therefore, it will search for patents that contain the words medical and equipment. 

To search for a particular term, add a ‘+’ (plus) sign in between the words in the query.

 

  • NOT Command:

If you want to find patents without a certain search term, then you need to use the ‘-’ (minus) sign in front of the word in the query. The ‘-’ sign indicates that the searcher doesn’t want results of patents that contain that term. 

Make sure that there is no space between the minus symbol and the word. 

Laptop-touchscreen

 

When searching for patents related to laptops, if you don’t want anything that pertains to touchscreen technology, this is how you should input your query. For the above search, you will not get patents that talk about touchscreen.

 

  • While searching for a specific phrase:

When searching for an exact phrase, you can use quotation marks around the keywords. For example, if the searcher inputs:

“Contract Lifecycle Management”

Google Patents will only search for patents that will contain the entire phrase “contract lifecycle management.” 

Searchers can include more than one quoted string in a query. The implied AND works not only on individual words but also on quoted phrases. 

 

  • The OR Command:

When the searcher wants to search for one word or the other, they should enter OR (in capitals) between the keywords. Any or all the search terms separated by the OR should appear in the record. 

Chip OR Charger

In the above scenario, Google Patents will search for patents containing either the word chip or the word charger. 

 

Google Patents Advanced Search:

On the Google Patents interface, you can get the advanced search option by clicking the link ‘patents.google.com/advanced.’ It has more search fields that will help you search for the desired patent applications. Let’s see what these fields are and how they can be used for different types of searches.

 

Search Terms: Use the space to enter all the relevant keywords.

Before priority/publication/filing: In this search field, you can enter the priority date, date of publication or filing date of any patent. By entering the relevant details, you will be able to search for documents that are published, filed or have a priority date before a particular date. This feature can also be used for invalidity searches where the intent is to find out documents that have been published before a particular date. 

After priority/publication/filing: Using this search field, you can search patent documents that are published, filed or have a priority date after a particular date. 

Assignee: In this search field, you can search for patents that have been filed by a particular company or person. It is possible to track the patent filing activities of that person/company using this field.

Patent Office: If you want to search for patents from a particular jurisdiction, this is the field that you need to use. You can search patent documents from more than 23 jurisdictions around the globe using this search field. 

Inventor: With this, you can search for patents filed by a particular inventor and can also track their patent filing activities. 

Filing status: You can search for the status of specified patent applications.

Patent Type: You can do a patent search for design or utility patents here.

CPC: Search for patent documents based on a particular CPC.

Citing Patent: It allows you to search for patent documents for which only one particular document was cited during the examination.

Languages: You can search for patent documents in 14 languages. 

With more and more filters added to your patent search, you will be able to get more accurate results. 

For the same search term, we have added the patent office as the US and the type of patent as design, the number of search results has dwindled down to 2,884. Earlier, it was 134,000+ results. 

Source: Google Patent Search

It is best advised to use relevant parameters to get the most relevant results. 

 

Limitations of Google Patents Search:

Since the patent database of Google is not updated regularly, you might not be able to find the latest data, and it may only have the first version of each patent. Also, since this is a free portal, Google does not take responsibility for the information that is presented in its search results. Therefore, you need to check for the veracity of the information from the respective patent offices or use a professional to confirm the same. This might not be the case with paid databases as they will verify the claims made here. 

For those who are beginning, Google Patent Search is a wonderful tool, but if you are looking for a comprehensive set of results, then it is advised to take the services of a professional. There are some inventions that are so complex, and are not easy for inventors to search nor would they have the time to pore through the vast literature in a reasonable period of time without professional help. 

 

Wrapping up:

If you are looking to get a basic idea related to your invention, then Google Patent Search should be your go-to tool. As we have mentioned above, it does come with a few limitations. When the purpose of your search is not critical, you needn’t think twice about using it. Let’s say you spend hundreds of hours poring through a large amount of patent literature, you are either doing it wrong or you’ve struck gold in terms of an invention. 

Are you looking for a partner for all your Intellectual Property related needs?

The team at ResearchWire is capable of handling any type of IP issue. We are experienced at building custom solutions for your specific intellectual property needs. 

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Introduction to Patent Blockchain

Blockchain is one of the most talked-about technologies in recent times, and rightly so. Its implications are incredible and has the ability to positively affect almost any industry you can possibly think of. From tracking the progress of goods in the supply chain to verifying the ownership of a piece of art, blockchain is here to stay. Undoubtedly, the world of intellectual property (IP) will see a ton of applications dedicated to it. 

In this article, we will learn about the various applications of blockchain in the IP world. 

 

What is Blockchain?

It is a secure and transparent digital ledger and its system of recording information makes it impossible to hack or cheat into. Each block in the chain contains transactions, and every time there is a new transaction in the blockchain, a record of it is added to every participant’s ledger. 

No one owns Blockchain. It is a distributed ledger through the nodes connected to the chain. Some of the biggest names in the business world, such as, Microsoft, Amazon, Tencent, Walmart, Alibaba, Samsung, PayPal, etc., have live blockchain operations. 

 

Blockchain’s relevance in the Intellectual Property world:

One of the most valuable assets is intellectual property, and given the pace at which businesses innovate, IP is the ultimate competitive advantage. According to US research firms, 84% of the S&P 500’s market value is incredibly difficult to manage, value, and transact. 

When the patents with blockchain claim first got mainstream in 2016, there were only three. As of November 2, 2021, the number grew to 2,660

 

Patentability of Blockchain-based technologies:

The number of patent applications that have the word ‘blockchain’ in it has increased, but that doesn’t necessarily reflect in the approval rates. It will take sometime before we know the rate of success of blockchain-related patents. Most of the blockchain patents are utility patents, they cover processes, features, and functions of technology. A utility patent protects the unique combination of components which go into running the application. 

 

Who are the leaders in Blockchain Patents? 

There has been a huge adoption of the blockchain technology by businesses of all sizes, especially in China. More than 10,000 blockchain-related patents have been filed with the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA). 

China accounts for 46% of the global patent applications filed in 2020 by leading 100 companies, while the US has around 24%. It is closely followed by Japan (8%), South Korea (7%), Germany (5%), Sweden and the UK (2% each). Alibaba holds the most granted blockchain patents at 212, while IBM has 136 patents. 

The number of patents that are filed in this field adds credibility to the potential of blockchain. Getting blockchain IP in many areas would be extremely beneficial for companies. 

 

Blockchain applications in the IP world:

Thanks to its security, accountability, low maintenance cost, and the impossible-to-hack nature of blockchain, you can safely assume that it will have a number of applications in the IP world. Let us look at a few blockchain applications in the Intellectual Property field. 

 

  • Smart contracts:

A smart contract is a program stored on a blockchain which runs when predefined conditions are met. Since blockchains can execute contractual codes, it could be a game-changer for digital rights management and other IP transactions. Smart contracts can be used to enforce IP agreements like licenses, and ensure that payments happen in real-time, to IP owners. 

The camera brand Kodak, recently launched a blockchain-based image rights management platform, and is aimed at servicing businesses and governments to store and manage sensitive documents. 

 

  • Supply Chain Management:

Since blockchain has the ability to track goods, it could help brands enforce contractual terms with respect to distribution. It will also be able to check for anomalies in the distribution system and even identify if there is any untoward activity that happens in the background. By tracking product distribution, regulatory requirements can also be met. 

 

  • Act as IP registry:

They can also be used as a technology-based IP registry where IP owners could use digital certificates of their IP. Inventors can use the blockchain platform to collect royalties from those who are using their IP. One of the biggest issues with patent filing and application is that it takes up a lot of time for approvals. For businesses that are looking to gain by being the first at something, this can hamper their ability to not only protect their innovation, but also stops them from taking full advantage of the IP. 

 

  • Evidence of ownership:

Since blockchain can provide proof of conception, use, qualification requirements, and status, it can play a huge role with respect to unregistered IP rights. When an inventor uploads the original design or at least the details of the work to a blockchain, it will create a time-stamped record and will act as a valid proof of the ownership. Many blockchain-based startups are already working on distributed ledger technology-based repositories. It will be a great application for both copyright protection and digital rights management. 

 

  • Maintaining version control of digital assets:

The average patent or copyrights would have had multiple versions over the course of their lifetime and there is a pressing need to link these different versions. Blockchain can be used in such a scenario where all the versions of the digital assets can be linked using the ledger technology. It can be used for managing the digital asset’s entire lifecycle. 

 

  • Anti-counterfeiting: 

The ability to identify an original one from a fake is possible because of the blockchain ledger that cannot be compromised. Everyone in the supply chain would be able to validate the genuinity of the product- customers, custom authorities, vendors, etc. 

Since blockchain ledgers hold IP rights information, it can also be used as a certificate of provenance. Provenance is the document which validates an authentic art piece as it outlines the work’s creator, history and appraisal value. The blockchain ledger holds information about the product’s manufacturing process, when and where they are made, raw material’s sources, etc. Such solutions are gaining fast acceptance among businesses, consumers, and insurance companies. 

 

  • Micro-licensing:

Blockchain can also be used for the management of access authorization and for the grant of licenses. Access will be granted to digital content only if the payment has been validated in the blockchain. Also, when it comes to licensing, blockchain can track who all have been granted licenses, and also ensure that the royalties are paid on time. 

 

  • R&D agreements:

 If there are two parties collaborating with each other’s IP, then they can license their existing IP to each other to create a new IPR. Allocating ownership of the new IP can be handled through the blockchain solution. Milestone-based payments could also be made to the parties based on how far they have come in the project. 

 

  • IP Marketplace:

Since blockchain utilizes the distributed ledger technology, it has the ability to record, share, and synchronize transactions in their respective electronic ledgers. Blockchain can potentially be used as a platform where inventors can store their information in the form of ledgers with a note describing their invention. It can act as an IP marketplace where potential licensees will get to know about inventions and the patent holders/inventors. 

 

  •  For information sharing of IPR related data:

The ledger technology that blockchain uses can change the way IPR-related information is shared. By using this way of sharing information, you will not be compromising on the transparency, security, and other regulatory frameworks. IPR is one area where information sharing has to be sacrosanct and not everyone can have access to it. 

 

  • Unifying global patent system:

Unifying the patent system across the world is one use case that the ledger technology of blockchain can surely solve. It can solve the speed at which applications filed are processed, fastens the innovation process, and provides a more evolved information-sharing process. A few patent offices have even started accepting blockchain as proof of evidence under electronic evidence. 

 

  • Collaboration between IP offices:

Since blockchain has the feature to track all activities, it will be extremely useful when collaborations between different IP offices happen during prosecution of IP applications. Information sharing with World Intellectual Property Offices (WIPO) will also be easier if data is maintained using blockchain technology. 

 

  •  MSMEs can use IP judiciously:

When information regarding IP rights is made available on the blockchain, it will help small and medium businesses to invest their resources without having to infringe on others rights. They will also be able to use technologies whose IP rights have expired. While this is possible even now, they will need to invest in a lot of resources, both monetary and time, to identify if they are infringing on someone else’s IP. 

 

  • Settle IP disputes:

If all IP data is made available on the blockchain, then it will be easier to sort out IP related issues. It will be easy to gauge the genuineness of IP rights and even the law enforcement agencies will find it pretty simple to solve these cases not only in the right manner, but also expedite them. 

 

Conclusion:

If you are using blockchain-backed technologies as a part of your intellectual property endeavours, then you are best advised to file your patent application as quickly as possible. By doing so, your innovation will be protected. The first few use cases of blockchain have shown a lot of promise, but we would need to research further to understand the full potential of blockchain, and also consider the legal challenges that will come up. 

Schedule a consultation call with one of our IP experts to check if you can patent your blockchain-driven innovation. ResearchWire’s experts are well-versed with the nuances of laws pertaining to IP as well as blockchain, and would be able to offer you the right solution.

 

write to: query@researchwire.in

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Patent Selling Strategies For Business

Just by owning a patent the inventor cannot generate dough. After turning your idea into a commercial product, there are certain things that you should do to make money from it. A patent, as is, will not do that for you. 

Here’s the hard truth. There are thousands of inventions that get patented every year. Do all of them make money? No. In fact, only a few of them generate profits. 

In this article, we are going to learn about a few patent selling strategies for businesses. 

 

  • Offer non-core patents to others:

Businesses that have a huge patent portfolio can sell off some of their patents to other companies. The only caveat is that the ones it plans to sell should not be key to its business. One of the main reasons why companies often do this is because they have to pay maintenance fees on patents over their 20-year lifespan. Companies that have thousands of patents might find it a wise idea to sell off those that aren’t making them money or if it doesn’t align with their goals. 

In one of its sales pitches to startups, IBM offered a variety of data analytics patents at $37,000 per patent. The technology giant holds more than 38,541 patents, and tops the list for companies that have the most number of patents in the US. 

 

  • Remove low-quality patents:

By removing low-quality patents, you will not only increase the value of your patent portfolio, you will also weed out patents that do not bring any value. How do you go about doing this? Companies should analyse their entire patent portfolio. Find out which are the patents that are of low-quality. Once you take a note of all the low-quality ones, decide which ones can be sold off without affecting your bottom line. 

If the company can find a chunk of low-quality patents, then it is better to sell it off as you are only going to spend on its maintenance fee. It is even worse if the patent doesn’t even give your business any form of protection from competitors. 

There are high chances that some patents which are related to old technologies have now become useless to the organization. They can be sold to startups that are still working in the same domain and might be able to find some uses with it. 

 

  • Outright patent sale:

When you sell a patent, you will get immediate payoff. But the question is at which stage is the patent being sold off. If the inventor has not built a commercially viable product yet, the sale might not fetch a lot of money. By selling it when there is no product yet, the inventor claims to give up the rights from future profits.

On the other hand, if the product has been in the market for a long time and is also popular amongst its customers, then it can be sold off at a substantial price. Deciding on when to sell the patent is the discretion of the inventor or the organization, based on the future goals and necessity for money. 

 

  • Licensing the rights:

Offering another entity the rights to make, use or sell your product is called licensing. It is one of the most profitable routes for most inventors or organizations that hold patents. The inventor not only retains the ownership of the patent, but also earns payments on each sale of the product made by the licensee. 

The best part about licensing the rights is that you can grant it to more than one company. If you sell the licensing rights to a big company, it will also increase the perceived value of your patent. The only downside to licensing is that there are no guarantees of financial riches. Your royalty checks will stop if the sales stop. You will get anywhere between 5 and 25 percent in terms of royalties from the sale of each product. 

Another headache with licensing is that you might have to face legal headaches. Ensure that you do due diligence before signing on someone as a licensee for your invention. 

 

  • Publicize your patent:

The good old method of using traditional marketing techniques still holds value in the patent industry. You can spread the word in trade publications and investors’ magazines to grab the attention of potential buyers. Patent offices will have a section which allows inventors to advertise their products for a fee. 

 

  • Patent marketplaces:

There are many marketplaces where you can sell off your patents by advertising on these platforms. While some of them are free, many of them do charge a fee. Marketplaces are online platforms where one can buy and sell patents. 

  • IP Marketplace, Inventorhaus Inc, PCTXS.com are some free platforms. 
  • IAM Market, Yet2.com, IPNexus.com, and IdeaConnection are some of the paid platforms. 

 

  • Find brokers:

In this field, you will find brokers who will spread the word about your invention to those who might be potentially interested. In lieu of this service, the broker gets paid in the form of royalties or a percentage of the sale. Before you hire the services of these brokers, ensure that they are reputed businesses. 

 

  • Sell patents that are in the right niche:

If you have a patent that is in a niche which is considered popular, it is the right time to sell it. When you hold a patent in an area where there is a lot of innovation happening or are making the right noises, you will find a lot of buyers as well. Hire the services of an IP firm like ResearchWire that will tell you the right value for your patent. 

For example, computer systems that were based on biological models were the fastest growing technology patent category in 2021, it rose by at least 67%, according to TechRepublic.

 

How to share the value of your invention to potential buyers? 

Communicating the value of  your invention to interested parties is a pivotal part of the selling process. You need to have the right mix of communication, negotiation, sales and marketing skills. Here are a few things you can do to share the kind of value that the buyer will get by buying your patent.

  • Represent the patent in a short, easy-to-understand manner that clearly helps the buyer understand the value of the invention
  • Use visual, audio and video modules to explain the invention

While not everyone will have these skills, you can hire IP firms that know the right strategies that you can use to share how your invention can affect their business positively. 

 

Conclusion:

The patent selling strategies that we have mentioned in this article can be the game-changer for your business. Your selling strategy should be based on your business objectives, and not because something is in vogue. By having a solid patent strategy, viable product, and the right kind of business advice, you can get good returns from your invention. 

If you are looking for end-to-end intellectual property services, ResearchWire is an IP firm that can provide you the best results. Our team of highly experienced IP experts and technologists allows us to gain a superior understanding of your industry with little effort. ResearchWire’s patent monetization services help inventors and businesses to get the right deal for their invention. 

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Patent Buying Strategies for Businesses

The Intellectual Property strategy that you have in place should have your best commercial interests in mind. It would be unwise to add patents to your portfolio just to add it to your repertoire. Most companies want to know where to invest using their R&D budgets. Many of them are on tenterhooks about buying patents because they wonder if it will become a burden in the future. 

In this article, we are going to learn patent buying strategies that businesses can use to get ahead in their industry. 

 

Patent buying strategies:

  • Patent Pool:

Think of patent pools as a partnership of at least two companies who have agreed to cross-license patents. The pooled patents are made available to the licensees and the licensing fees are shared among the parties based on each patent’s value. 

Many industries will cease to function without patent pools since the risk involved would be too high and reduces the need to negotiate with other patent holders. For example, the automobile industry shares patents to standardize components. 

 

  • Target companies that have filed bankruptcy:

The difficult business circumstances caused by Covid-19 has made multiple organizations file for bankruptcy. This presents a hotbed of opportunities for those who want to purchase assets at reduced costs, including intellectual property. You can get a heavy discount for patents, especially with companies that have filed bankruptcy. 

In the communications field, the bankrupt Nortel Networks sold their portion of patents to Sony, Microsoft, Apple and Research in Motion for $4.5 billion. Google was also fiercely fighting to get a piece of Nortel’s patent tranche. If Google had won the bid, they would have been able to protect Android from various patent infringement claims. 

 

  • Look for inventors:

There are many inventors who work alone or with a small team, and are not part of a business entity. These inventors are looking for someone to purchase or at least license their patents. It is also a chance for businesses to get patents at a reasonable price since the inventors know that their invention has a sell-by date. Businesses should always be on the lookout for investors who keep filing patents in their niche. 

 

  • Check out universities:

Universities spend a significant amount of money on their research and are always on the lookout for either buyers or funders. More often than not, universities are ignored when businesses are on the lookout to buy patents. The patent filing rate in universities has increased of late, and they are also aggressively looking out to license their inventions. If you are looking to acquire patents from a particular niche, we would advise you to contact the universities and take a look at the research that is being done. 

 

  • Defensive Patent Aggregation (DPA):

Purchasing patents or patent rights just to keep them off the hands of companies that would use them against operating companies is called defensive patent aggregation. Companies have to often defend themselves against claims of patent infringement, and sometimes, they must purchase patents in technologies which they use or develop. 

The opposite of DPA is called Offensive Patent Aggregation (OPA). In this, the patents are purchased in order to assert them against companies which would use the inventions protected by these patents and to provide licenses to get licensing fees or royalties. 

 

  • Patentleft:

It is the practice of licensing patents where they could use them royalty-free. The only condition is that the adopters create improvements under the same terms. Also called a copyleft-style patent license, it seeks “continuous growth of a universally accessible technology commons” from which everyone will benefit. 

The idea of such an open patent ecosystem is practiced by a group of research-oriented companies. It is worth noting that most of the businesses that follow this strategy are usually biological patents. 

 

  • Stick Licensing:

Licensing a patent or any form of intellectual property where the patent owner threatens litigation for patent infringement if the company does not take a license from them. The opposite of this is called carrot licensing where there is a friendly approach to adopt their invention to take a license. An example of carrot licensing would be universities that approach businesses to license or buy their patents. 

 

  • Assortment of patents:

The reason behind diversification is to reduce your risks to market conditions. The same goes for your patents as well, but it is not only to minimize the risks, but also to expand your research. 

Seattle-based retail giant Amazon is an example of a conglomerate that has a diversified patent portfolio. In 2010, they had less than 1,000 active patents, but by 2019, they had more than 10,000 of them. Their patent portfolio encompasses a wide array of technologies- cloud computing, machine learning, drones, retail, robotics- you name it. The reason why Amazon is aggressively diversifying its portfolio is because it gives them the leverage to enter any field that they want to. 

 

  • Fire Sale:

In April 2016, Yahoo transferred more than 3,000 of its current and pending patents to a new subsidiary called Excalibur. It was created exclusively to auction these patents. While the executives at Yahoo vehemently denied that it was a fire sale, nothing could be farther from the truth. 

What is a fire sale? It is the sale of goods at extremely discounted prices. Another example of a patent fire sale was Kodak selling off its patents for $527 million. It was estimated that their entire patent portfolio was valued anywhere between $2 and $3 billion. Google, Amazon, HTC, Facebook, Huawei, Apple and Samsung were able to buy it at such a discounted price because Kodak was forced to sell them to avoid bankruptcy. While you would not come across a fire sale often, you might get lucky if you closely monitor the conversations in your industry. 

 

Conclusion:

Patents can do a world of good for your business if you have the right patent strategy in place. The patent buying strategy that you employ should be in accordance with your company’s unique goals. Having patents can have a huge impact on how your potential customers and partners view you. 

If you are looking for help with any patent portfolio analysis or any other end-to-end intellectual property services, ResearchWire is the right partner for you. We are one of the world’s leading technology and intellectual property companies and offer assistance during each stage of the patent lifecycle. Get in touch with us to get an idea of how we can transform your IP strategy. 

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Things To Do When The Patent Examiner Rejects Your Patent

Filing your patent application is an exciting part of the process. But the chances of your patent being rejected will always loom large over your head. Thankfully, there are steps that you can take when the patent examiner rejects your patent.  

Dealing with your patent getting rejected is also a part of the process. In a Yale University study of over 2.15 million US patent applications from 1996 to mid-2013, more than 90% of them were rejected. So if you have filed a patent and it has been rejected, do not fret, you can argue against the examiner’s rejection and get things fixed. 

Before you go about arguing against the rejection, make sure that you know why your patent application has been rejected in the first place. When you understand the reason behind the rejection, you will be able to find a common ground and will also be in a position to seek the right kind of counsel. 

Who denies your patents?

The rejection or approval of patents happens at the patent office. Since there are a large number of patent applications that they receive, you should make it easy for the patent examiner to go through your application with ease. Ensure that your invention is patentable, unique, and non-obvious. Indulge in patent search to make sure that there is nothing similar to your invention. Give enough reasons for the patent examiner to approve your patent application. 

Why do patent requests get rejected? 

For your patent to be approved, it has to pass the patentability criteria. Below are some of the criteria.

Your invention is obvious- If your invention is not unique enough, then the chances of your application getting rejected is high. Your invention must at least be different from other inventions that are similar to yours. 

Poorly filled application- If your application is dotted with errors, you run the risk of getting your application rejected. Ensure that you follow all the guidelines that are to be met when drafting the application. To bring validity to your claims, add as much technical details as possible in a way that everyone can understand. 

Your invention is not novel- The invention for which you are seeking a patent should be the first of its kind. Before you file the application, it is wise to do a patent search to find the novelty of your invention. 

The importance of hiring a patent firm:

While there are a number of measures that you can take to increase the chances of your patent application being accepted, there is a crucial step that you can take to swing things in your favor. If you want a highly efficient solution, then it is wise to seek the expertise of a patent firm. They will not only help you in drafting the patent application, but will also be available throughout the entire process. A reputed intellectual property (IP) firm will have a team of experts who will help you wade through the process efficiently. 

 

Steps to take when the patent examiner rejects your patent:

  • Show why your invention is different:

There are chances that the patent examiner is misinterpreting the prior art incorrectly or too broadly. Or they may be applying the prior art references wrongly. What you can do in such a scenario is to argue how certain claim features are not found in the referenced prior arts. The examiner will then review your arguments, and two things can happen. 

  1. They can review your arguments, agree with them and find new references (or)
  2. Disagree with your arguments and maintain their stance on rejecting your patent. 

Here is what you can do in this scenario. Take the drawings that have been filed in the initial application and highlight a component or a processing step which isn’t shown in the records. You can ask the examiner-”Our invention has X, can you find X in the art of record?” 

  1. Adjust or modify your claims:

There are times when the examiner wants you to make the application easy to understand, so they would advise you to phrase your claims differently. If you make the changes that they have suggested, then the issue could be resolved. 

How you phrase your invention on your patent application has a huge impact. Using irregular terminology or slang is one reason why many patent applications get rejected. Having the advice of an experienced IP team will solve this issue as they are more careful while writing down your invention in the application and are better equipped to handle the entire process.  

  1. Show how your invention works:

There are times when the patent examiner gets back with a comment that reads-”Does the invention work?” 

Here’s what you need to do in this scenario. 

  1. Explain the landscape of relevant technology which existed before your invention.
  2. Explain how your device works.

One of the best ways to explain your invention clearly is to make a video where you outline everything about your invention. If you can schedule a direct meeting with the patent examiner, you can describe your invention directly. 

  1. Check if your patent application is complete:

The first thing that the patent office will review is your application and see if it includes all the necessary parts. To move your application to the next process, the examiner will even go through the technical aspects of your patent application. 

For your patent application to be complete, the following should be included:

  1. At least one patent claim
  2. Inventor’s oath or declaration
  3. Payment for filing the application
  4. Drawings to describe the invention, if necessary

If any of these are not met, the patent office will get back to you saying that you have submitted an ‘incomplete’ application. 

Conclusion:

Your objective should be to convince the patent examiner to allow your claims by modifying them and also by presenting your case properly. It may take a bunch of responses before you can find a middle ground and get your patent application approved. Do not worry about getting your patent rejected, you can make changes to address the objections raised by the examiner.

If you are looking for a one-stop IP solution, ResearchWire is more than happy to onboard you as a partner.When you are not sure about what to do when the patent examiner rejects your patent, get in touch with us- and we can help with next steps.

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Everything You Wanted To Know About Invalidity Search

What is a patent invalidity search?

 

Also called an opposition search, the objective of a patent invalidity search is to identify patent and non-patent documents that may impact the claims that are present in a specific patent. When a competitor attacks you with patent infringement claims, your best resort is to prove the patent invalid. A patent validity/invalidity search is also done to calculate the strength of a patent to see how much it can guard itself against claims of validity. 

 

Using the results from this search, you can block patents and validate the claims of a patent portfolio which can be useful during a licensing or a company acquisition process. An invalidity search is conducted by a defendant to invalidate a patent by conducting a prior art search. 

 

A patent invalidity search is performed for three important reasons:

 

  • To check whether someone holds an authentic claim to the patent
  • To invalidate claims of patent infringement
  • To search for patents before any new patent enforcement

 

How do you perform a patent invalidity search?

 

The first step towards performing a patent invalidity search is to establish the priority date of the patent claims. Disclosures that are publicly available before the date of the filing of the patent is considered to be prior art. Also, if a patent application has been published by you after the patent’s filing date, it will receive a prior art rank. 

 

You might not always get enough material to stab at your patent’s novelty, but patent validity search will give you an idea as to where to look for if there is an anomaly. Below are the steps that you should take while performing a patent invalidity search. 

 

  • Understand the subject:

 

You need to know which are the technical and patent issues so that you can fully interpret the claim during the validity search. Since validity searches are usually performed on patents that have already been allowed, you need to have a broad sense of the claims to find further relevant art. Read in detail about the prosecution history at the beginning of the search, including the file wrapper to interpret the claim which needs to be invalidated. 

 

  • Do not leave out even a small detail:

 

To conduct an invalidity search successfully, you need to pore through innumerable patents and literature documents. A thorough examination will include an evaluation of the specification text, figures, chemical formulas, tables, etc. The searcher should focus on a variety of matters that will be of relevance to cover most grounds, if not all. 

 

  • Conduct a broad search:

 

When thorough invalidity searches are conducted, the findings will help you make the right business decisions. Missing prior art could cost you millions in patent infringement suits or having to re-work the product. You need to gather all your resources and search to the broadest extent possible. Start with works such as patent office search reports, history of the prosecution, opposition proceedings, litigation proceedings, etc. 

 

  • Do not ignore non-English literature:

 

Even though the volume of non-English literature is not much, you should not neglect or underestimate its importance during your searches. 

 

  • Know when to halt the search:

 

The problem with invalidity searches is that there is so much information to gather and so many places to seek them from. What happens if you don’t know when to stop? You will end up extinguishing your resources and burn a lot of money, not to forget the amount of time you will end up wasting. Your search strategies should also mention clearly when exactly you will stop so that it doesn’t go on for a long time. 

 

  • Do reporting properly:

 

The final report should be submitted in an easy-to-understand manner. While it is tempting to cite all the resources, all these references might not be relevant to the client. Offer a brief interpretation of the results and add any other supporting information if necessary. Report the findings in a matter of fact manner instead of offering opinions as they can be used against your client. 

The final report for the search should include relevant prior arts, key features, search strategy, keywords, classes, key assignees, key inventors, and claim charts that map relevant prior arts with the features of claims. A detailed report will help you understand the validity or invalidity of the claims in the patent. 

 

Factors involved in a patent invalidity search:

 

It is different from a prior art search because of a few factors that are involved in a patent invalidity search. Let us look at them.

 

File wrapper information:

 

File wrapper, or the dossier content, provides the most updated information regarding a patent application’s progress. It includes information on the examination process, search reports, office actions, correspondence with the patent office, and so on. When you read the file wrapper, it will give you an idea about the aspects on which the patent has been granted or if there is any novelty feature for the patent. The searcher will be able to identify if a claim has not been identified by the examiner. 

 

A file wrapper will also tell you about the kind of search strategy that was utilized by the examiner. Based on this, the searcher can find references to invalidate the claims of the patent. 

 

Cited references:

 

Both patent and non-patent literature which have been cited for the targeted patent are called cited references. You can gather the cited references from the file wrapper. When the analyst goes through the cited references, they can see the ones that have already been used against the targeted patent. By doing this, it becomes easy to get an idea of the missing part to invalidate the claims of the targeted patent. 

 

Date Restriction:

 

To find out prior arts and prior right cases, Date Restriction plays a big part in the invalidity search. A prior art case is published before the priority date of the patent that is to be invalidated. Prior right cases are those which are published after the priority date of the targeted patent, even though their priority date is before that of the targeted patent. 

 

Conclusion:

 

With all that said, the first thing you need to do before conducting a patent invalidity search is to consider the patent’s filing date. With patent invalidity search, you might be able to find prior art which the previous examiner might have missed out on. If a business is challenging the patent of a competitor or is preparing for a defense against an infringement charge, then the ideal retort is this. 

 

If you want to find out the validity of a patent, reach out to ResearchWire, our expert analysts will be more than happy to take care of it. Our in-house experts understand the patent laws for different countries, and are adept at conducting an expert search. 

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