Why should you integrate AI into your competitive intelligence program?

The speed at which disruption is happening in every industry can get overwhelming if you aren’t actively contributing to this change. According to research by Accenture, only 63% of companies are experiencing any sort of disruption in how they operate, engage, or bring value to their customers. Only 3% of publicly listed companies have made serious progress in transforming their organizations. There is a huge gap.

This gap can be bridged by having a competitive intelligence program in place. 

 

What is competitive analysis?

The practice of gathering and analyzing competitive information to identify market opportunities, threats, and risks is called competitive analysis. Every business has to indulge in it as it helps you compete with the best in the industry. You will also be able to make data-driven decisions that will put your brand in a better position in the market. 

While competitive intelligence programs have been common for quite some time, the entry of artificial intelligence (AI) in it has completely changed the way how it is done. 

From improving customer service or operations with RPA (Robotic process automation) bots to predicting performance, AI is shaping the way how businesses operate. To say that it is changing the world would not be an overwhelming statement. In gathering competitor intelligence, too, AI has carved a niche for itself.

In this article, we are going to look at the benefits of integrating AI into your business’ competitor intelligence program. 

 

Why is competitive analysis critical? 

Competitive intelligence helps leaders make data-backed business decisions. It could entail anything from monitoring competitors’ products, marketing techniques, supply chain, market, operations strategy, patent strategy, etc. By doing so consistently, you will gain a competitive advantage and be in a position to stay ahead of your competitors. 

When you are actively indulging in AI-powered competitive intelligence programs, you will rarely get surprised by the market or your competitors. Bloomberg says-” Competitive intelligence is your best alarm clock,” as it makes you take action when presented with a threat or opportunity. 

 

Why is AI important to your competitive intelligence program? 

 

  • Helps gather relevant sources:

Gathering information about your competitors is an arduous task. Doing it manually can take off hundreds of thousands of person-hours that can be used elsewhere. Artificial Intelligence helps collate information from thousands of sources. It even identifies real-time updates and changes that the competitor is doing on several channels, including social media, external tracking, website tracking, forums, etc. 

 

 

  • Anticipate competitor’s actions:

With the help of AI-powered competitive intelligence, it may even be possible to predict competitors’ next steps, assuming that there are tonnes of data to analyze. Even otherwise, when you know what your competitors are about to do, you will be in a great position to counter any attack that may come from their side. 

You need to react quickly to how the market behaves if you want to stay ahead of the competition. It is imperative that you find out as much as possible about all your main competitors so that you are never blindsided. 

 

 

  • Visualizes trends for decision making:

The ability to visualize trends based on the data collected is an essential part of decision-making. AI pulls out trends and visualizes data from multiple sources to help businesses see what is happening, at a never before seen scale and speed. Thanks to advanced levels of visualization that include the ability to filter, you can make the data actionable and see how it impacts your business. 

 

 

  • Understand the market:

Competitive intelligence programs help spark great new ideas and allow for different perspectives to form. It will help your business see how your competitors are positioning themselves in the market, and find out if there are any market gaps that they have not taken advantage of. 61% of leaders believe that artificial intelligence helps significantly in fleshing out opportunities for their business. 

Artificial intelligence can act as a surveillant for multiple sources (even thousands) so that you don’t miss out on any updates about your industry or how your brand is perceived by those who are your prospective clients. From monitoring website content to thought leadership trends, it can keep a tab on everything. It even manages to save thousands of person-hours by doing all of this in an automated manner. All information that is relevant to your business will be kept track of. 

 

 

  • Discover marketing gaps:

You might have the best product in the market, but if your marketing game is not strong, your customers won’t know about it. Most businesses cannot attract the right kind of clientele because they have not been able to put themselves out in the right way. 

 

 

  • Reduction of repetition:

Repetitive tasks can be mind-numbingly tedious for human beings, even resulting in mistakes that can cost the company. On the other hand, machine learning gathers intelligence by drawing inferences from patterns of activity. 

 

 

  • Does better research:

One of the most challenging tasks associated with competitor intelligence is research. 

  • What is the data that you want to analyze? 
  • Which are the different pieces of information that you want to collect? 
  • What are the sources from where data will be collected? 

 

Artificial intelligence makes all of this incredibly easy. You can analyze every single detail of your competitors at scale and in a significantly less period. The AI system will also make sure that the data collected is organized in a visually appealing manner that makes it easy to find patterns from it. 

The AI crawlers that scrape the data can be as extensive as possible, and it is not even limited by geography. You can be assured of the fact that you are not missing out on any business use case. 

 

Disadvantages of using AI for competitive intelligence programs:

Let us look at some of the cons of using AI for CI and how it can take the charm out of it if you don’t take the right steps. 

 

  • Lack of context:

AI might be able to find unexpected patterns, but it cannot tell you clearly why it occurred in the first place. You might feed a select set of data, but how the AI works and what it finds ‘related’ is not transparent. The business should put more effort in finding the context for certain insights. 

 

 

  • False positives:

How does your AI algorithm find relevant data points? The algorithm might not have included important aspects that are important for your business or there might be coding oversights, and this will give false-positive results. You have to be on top of the data to ensure that the algorithm is doing what exactly it intends to do. 

 

 

  • Obsolete AI:

There is so much innovation in artificial intelligence that the results you are getting currently might be terribly limited. Be on the lookout for the latest innovations to get what you want. 

 

Popular AI use cases in competitive intelligence:

From identifying patterns in data to predicting future outcomes, artificial intelligence can make a world of difference in your competitive intelligence plan. It can even be programmed to gather information from disparate sources to analyze the data together. 

AI has the ability to quickly identify opportunities in your industry. It is already being implemented across industries to predict the future by discovering trends or data patterns that might be missed by humans. News tracking, AI-enabled content recommendation, opportunity tracking, social media monitoring, auto-tagging, customer preference analysis, comparison with competitors across different categories, detailed data breakdown etc., are some of the use cases of AI in competitive intelligence programs. 

 

Wrapping up:

Given the tonnes of competitor data that is available publicly, it would be unwise not to spend effort on collecting insights from them. Businesses will be doing themselves a disservice if they don’t invest in competitive intelligence programs to see what they can do to their existing IP strategy. Adding artificial intelligence into the fray increases the effectiveness of your competitor analysis. 

If you are looking for end-to-end intellectual property services and AI-powered competitor analysis, get in touch with the Researchwire team. Let us walk you through how exactly we can help you with gaining relevant insights for your business using competitive intelligence programs. 

 

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Automobile industry investing in 5G R&D can drive business growth : Know how

Studies by Qualcomm said that by 2035, 5G will generate more than $2.4 trillion across the automotive industry. It is also slated to create more than 22 million jobs. When 5G is rolled out, it will be able to transfer hundreds of megabytes per second, as opposed to the low tens of megabytes that 4G offers. One of the basic requirements of 5G is that it should be able to handle at least 20 billion bits of downloaded data per second. Let us look at 5G in a bit more detail. 

 

What is 5G?

The 5th generation of cellular technology is set to change our lives in ways that we would have never imagined. Its ever-reliable connectivity allows millions of devices to use and transfer data everywhere. 5G is meant to deliver ultra-low latency, massive network capacity, increased availability, uniform user experience, and peak data speeds. It will result in higher performance, empower users and change the way how many industries operate. In this article, we will look at 5G’s impact on the automobile industry. 

 

5G in the automobile industry:

Every day, millions of vehicles leverage mobile technology for real-time innovation, connected infotainment, emergency services, etc. With the advent of 5G, a new range of applications will spawn Vehicle-2-Vehicle, Vehicle-2-Infrastructure (V2I), Vehicle-2-Network (V2N), and Vehicle-2-Pedestrian (V2P) communications. 

 

According to Gartner, the share of 5G-enabled cars actively connected to a 5G service will reach 94% in 2028. 5G will bring a windfall of sales in the automotive sector, but its impact is beyond just that. 

 

Partnerships for 5G autonomous vehicles:

 

Benefits of 5G in the automobile industry:

Let us look at the different ways in which 5G will impact the automobile industry. 

  • Makes manufacturing cars easier:

Thanks to 5G’s secure and real-time connectivity, the manufacturing of automobiles also gets a fillip. Ericsson recently tied up with Telefonica Germany for 5G car production through a private 5G network for Mercedes Benz. Jörg Burzer, Member of the Divisional Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain, said: “With the installation of a local 5G network, the networking of all production systems and machines in the Mercedes-Benz Cars factories will become even smarter and more efficient in the future. This opens up completely new production opportunities.”

 

5G will be able to usher in an era where efficiency and profitability will be achieved by automobile companies by creating new innovations in the processes. It could be due to the continued automation of robots, warehouse transportation, or cutting cables for more flexibility. The 5G mobile technology will lower costs, greater flexibility, shorter lead times, etc. 

 

  • 5G will result in safer cars:

The mobile technology’s greater throughput, availability, and reliability will enable safety-sensitive applications known as V2X, or Vehicle-to-Everything. V2X, with the help of 5G, will play a huge role in bettering traffic efficiency and reducing car-related accidents. How? Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication gives vehicles the ability to look beyond just what is in their line of sight. 

According to Morgan Stanley, V2V communication could save more than $500 billion from accident avoidance. This will make commuting every day safer and make travel a less time-consuming affair. It is estimated that more than $2.7 billion worth of hours will stop being wasted.  Autonomous vehicles will know where the parking spots are, determine alternative parking areas, and reduces congestion, thereby saving another $140 billion by avoiding congestion. 

 

  • Smarter cars:

The key to developing autonomous vehicles is artificial intelligence, but its biggest enablers are communication and connectivity. Machine-to-machine requires an incredible amount of bandwidth. Thankfully, 5G supports it. 5G’s high bit rate will enable high volumes of 3D data exchange. The speed and reliability of 5G data allow for sharing of sensory data, and it is of huge significance in improving situational awareness, thereby expediting the process toward autonomous automobiles. 

 

  • Advanced auto manufacturing:

The impact of 5G in the automobile industry starts in the assembly line itself. 5G will allow remote factories to have better communication and connectivity. It will make the production of cars faster, cheaper, and more efficient. In the future, you will see wireless and connected assembly lines that build parts and the complete construction of the car’s body using cables and wires. 

 

  • Better freight and shipping:

With 5G, the logistics industry will see a complete makeover too. It is expected that autonomous trucks will become a reality by 2027. Road assistance will be possible through virtual reality. Companies will manage their fleet using a remote mechanic. It will reduce the time taken to care for trucks, thus getting them back on the roads faster, and improving delivery times. There are times when it becomes impossible to find broken-down trucks. With 5G’s advanced geo-location technology, vehicles will be easier to track. Such route optimization improves delivery speeds and reduces the time taken to travel. 

 

  • Will be of huge significance for electric vehicles (EV):

With many legacy brands jumping onto the electric vehicle bandwagon, whether it is launching pure or hybrid EVs, 5G is set to play a major role. Better connectivity leads to greater control, analysis, and performance. 5G will facilitate the infrastructure to assist EV deployment, such as monitoring battery levels, identifying better routes, and finding charging stations quickly. 

 

  • Will rejig the automobile industry:

While we are still not sure about the extent of change that 5G will spawn in the automobile industry, there is no doubt that automobile manufacturers will have a lot to think about. For example, the advent of autonomous cars means that car manufacturers and OEMs should concentrate on the rider’s experience while in the vehicle. You might see a wave of in-vehicle apps and other forms of entertainment, and the 5G network will act as an enabler here. Manufacturers will have to find ways to redefine the purchasing experience. You will see newer products and business models. 

 

  • Advanced self-driving:

5G helps leverage the full potential of advanced CASE (Connected, Autonomous, Shared, and Electrified). Autonomous cars use hundreds of sensors to make vehicles faster and smarter. 

 

Conclusion:

The automobile industry is going through a massive transformation. In a few years, cars will be more connected, autonomous, shared, and electric (CASE). Automotive manufacturing would go well beyond just manufacturing cars, and will have to focus more on technology-side features too. They should partner with technology companies to optimize and better the existing facilities in automobiles.

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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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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.

 

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How to Identify Disruptive Technologies?

Why do some companies make bank every year while others struggle to stay afloat? There are a lot of factors which decide the longevity and success of a business. But if there is one rare ingredient which can put any company at the top, it is this- presence of a disruptive technology. 

 

The personal computer, internet, smart phones, artificial intelligence, 3D printing are all examples of disruptive technologies. Some of these technologies have even managed to change the way we live our lives. 

 

What is disruptive technology?

 

It is any technology that disrupts the status quo of an industry or a market. A disruptive technology will be completely new for everyone and its use cases might not even be defined yet. Disruptive technologies are impactful and usually affect other technologies as well. There are times when it is not the technology that is disruptive per se, but it is the way in which it is combined with others. 

 

Innovation is usually either sustaining or disruptive. If your innovation incrementally improves the existing product, then the innovation is sustainable. But if it completely changes the way the product has been used so far, or if it serves a completely different set of customers, then the innovation is disruptive. 

 

Here are a few questions which you can use to see if an innovation is sustainable or disruptive:

 

  • Is the innovation based on a product that appeals to a huge segment of customers? If the answer to it is yes, then it might not be disruptive.

 

  • Is it an enhanced version of the product? Or is it just a modified version? It is a sustained innovation if the answer is yes.

 

  • Are the use cases from this innovation not fully identified yet? Then it might be disruptive.

 

  • What do the experts in your organization tell you about the technology? If they think that you have hit the jackpot and are preparing to leverage it, then it could be a disruptive innovation.

 

How to identify disruptive technologies:

 

A new technology in the market cannot necessarily be identified as a disruptive technology. Disruptive technologies become successful since it helps in targeting a new segment of customers, creates success for its network of stakeholders, and makes the end product accessible and affordable to more people. 

 

#1 Smaller target area:

 

While a smaller market may not always be the case, a disruptive technology usually captures the attention of all and sundry, albeit in a smaller target area. A few people or an organization will make use of the technology where they will cater to this area. Based on the results from this, the next set of events will occur. The success of the disruptive technology depends on how the first few customers react to it. 

 

#2 Great risks:

 

One of the characteristics of a disruptive technology is that it is highly risky. Not every organization will be willing to bet on them as soon as they hear about it. Since there is no data to ascertain the effectiveness of an innovative technology, there is a lot of risk associated with it. Most of them will wait to see how the new technology is faring for those who have used the technology in one of their product offerings or services. In fact, this is a well-known strategy called ‘second to invent’. 

 

#3 Creates a new market segment:

 

While creating a new market segment may not always be how disruptive technologies can be characterized, the chances of the same are there. There was no market for 3D printers because there were no similar products and people had no idea what they were. When 3D printers had mainstream uses, people started recognizing it. Today, there are 3D printer enthusiasts who have them just to print things that they would like to have. 

 

#4 Grows slowly:

 

The best thing about disruptive technologies is that not everyone would want to get their hands dirty as soon as they hear about it. There will be a bit of resistance to the new technology, but a few people will start adopting it and it will gain a bit of traction. Once a few businesses make use of the disruptive technology, it will reach the mainstream, and from that point, the growth will be incredibly fast. 

 

#5 Disrupts an existing market:

 

Reading books is a great hobby to have. People love the smell of paperbacks, it is a unique feeling when you are a book lover. In 2004, Sony Librie, the first e-book reader, was released to the public. Today, e-book readers are available mainstream and there is a lot of demand for newer and improved versions. The ebook reader is an example of how a disruptive technology has disrupted an existing market. 

 

When Jeff Bezos introduced the Kindle, everyone thought that he was betting against himself because the majority of Amazon’s sales were from physical books. In the first 4 months of 2021, ebook revenues were up by 14.5% and it amounted to $368.9 million. No one blames Bezos anymore. 

 

6 examples of disruptive technologies:

 

#1 Virtual Reality:

VR takes you to a completely new world, an effect that is created by the VR headsets which have goggles and a screen. Google’s Cardboard, Facebook’s Oculus or Samsung’s Gear are a few examples of VR devices. From retailing to the automobile industry, many industries have taken note of its uses and have been leveraging it to the hilt. In retail, VR lets customers check out the products before purchasing. 

 

#2 3D Printing:

To put it simply, it makes three dimensional solid objects with the help of digital models. When you use 3D visualization on a computer screen, you will be able to have a better understanding of the spatial aspects of a physical environment. From military applications to its importance in urban planning, 3D printing has taken the world by storm. It has had a huge effect on the satellite and space industry as well. With 3D printers becoming more affordable than earlier, the number of applications for it will only keep increasing. 

 

#3 Smartphones:

There is no doubt that smartphones have changed the way we lead our lives. With the single click of a button, we can do so many things that might have been unimaginable just two decades back. Smartphones are easily one of the most disruptive technologies that we have been witness to. We rely on it every day. We have it on our person everywhere we go. That’s how disruptive smartphones have been. 

 

#4 Ecommerce:

There was a time when we had to walk into a brick-and-mortar store to buy anything. That’s not the case anymore. We could buy anything from a pin to an airplane in an eCommerce store. Ecommerce has changed the status quo of every industry that you can possibly imagine. Add the internet to the mix, it has changed the way supply chains are managed and controlled. 

 

#5 Cab aggregators:

There was a time when we could not hail a cab with the simple touch of a button on your smartphone. You had to walk out on the streets to search for one. Ride-sharing companies like Uber have completely changed the way we commute. Uber was able to create a $70 billion valuation within its first decade, that’s how disruptive it was. 

 

#6 Online education:

Online learning platforms have become even more important with the pandemic shutting down educational institutions in many places across the world. Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) has made education accessible to a broader set of people. It is much cheaper than getting full-time education from a university, but you get to learn just as much. With platforms like Udemy, anyone can become a tutor, that too on any topic. There are many platforms like Thinkific, Kajabi and Teachable where you can host the content of your online course here. 

 

Conclusion:

Disruptive technology can change the way industries behave. It is also a great opportunity for an established business to adapt and grow. Not to forget that even startups can and should take advantage of the shifting demands in the market. There are many innovations which bring about a lot of change, but they are not necessarily disruptive. Identify the ones that are truly disruptive and see if you can leverage it for the greater good, the rewards will follow. 

 

We are a leading technology and IP consulting company and provide end-to-end solutions to our clients for all IP needs. The patent professionals at Researchwire have worked with companies that are in its initial stages to those that have existed for decades. Our objective is to present our clients with the most effective solutions that are also highly practical and affordable. 

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