The commercial and technical information stored in patents has a significant role to play in a broad range of business activities: from basic research through to product marketing.
Before research projects are initiated, a scan of the published literature to establish what is already known can save many hours pursuing fruitless lines of investigation. The European Commission has estimated that European industries are wasting over £20 billion each year by simply repeating previous efforts, the results of which can be found in published patents.
Unforeseen difficulties can arise when scaling up for production. These difficulties may have been encountered elsewhere and solutions documented in patent literature. The subsequent time saved with this knowledge could determine whether or not a vital foothold is gained in a rapidly developing market.
An indication of suitable markets for products can be obtained by evaluating the world-wide patent practices of possible competitors.
A thorough review of relevant published documentation will also assist in drafting a sound patent application, thereby providing the maximum degree of protection to help you exploit the full potential of your idea.
Having successfully launched a product, it is essential to maintain market appeal by a constant programme of evaluation and refinement: new processes to reduce production costs, novel materials to enhance performance, and fresh outlets for increased turnover – all information that can be obtained from a regular review of patent literature to help you innovate and keep ahead of your competitors by retaining hard-won customer satisfaction.