Tutorial: How to monitor your competitor’s intellectual property

Summary

This tutorial will show you how to use IP Monitor intellectual monitoring to monitor and report on your competitor’s patents and patent applications so as to identify opportunities or take appropriate action to safeguard your technological implementations and freedom to operate.

What is IP Monitor?

The IP Monitor intellectual monitoring system provides a simple-to-use interface for creating reports relating to one or more events of your competitor’s patents and patent application through the patent prosecution pipeline. Specifically, the IP Monitor reporting system allows for the monitoring and reporting on any of 36 events relating to your competitor’s intellectual property.

The IP Monitor intellectual monitoring system generates a monthly report containing the intellectual property events matching those specified events for the current month.

This tutorial set out how to create a monthly patent watch report using the IP Monitor design interface to monitor your competitor’s intellectual property.

Step 1 – Create an intellectual property report template

An IP Monitor intellectual property report template is a customisable report template comprising one or more alerts for publication each month. Each month IP Monitor will generate a new report comprising the patents and patent applications matching your alerts for the current month.

To create a report, go to the IP Monitor Design Interface.

In the menu box, select Create Report and accept the terms and conditions:

In the report editor, you can edit the title and the summary of the report. For example, you could set the title to ‘Competitors Report’ and the summary to ‘A monthly watch report of our competitors patents and patent applications.’

You have now created an intellectual property report template. In the next step you will add one or more alerts to your report template.

Step 2 – Create an alert to monitor your competitors by name

In this step you will be creating one or more alerts to monitor your competitors by name. For example, should your business or company relate to software, your competitor’s may be Apple, Microsoft or Google.

First, you create a table to monitor the above competitors. As such, click on Insert Table:

Once a table has been created, in the Edit panel click on the ‘by Search Term’ to open up the search field. Enter ‘Apple’ into the search box and select ‘Owner’ from the dropdown box:

As you type, the number of applications shown matching your query will be displayed in realtime. In the above example you can see that there are more than 200 results matching ‘Apple’. Now, click on the 'results' button to view the patents and patents matching ‘Apple’:

As you can see from the above example, only the first 20 matches are shown. To view the next 20 patents and patent applications, click on the ‘Show more results’ link at the bottom of the results. Click on any results if you would like to view more information relating to the result.

Now, you can further limit the results to show only the results matching Apple that are accepted. To do this, click on the ‘by event’ checkbox and select ‘Applications Accepted’:

As you can see from the above example, there are 4 results matching ‘Apple’ by owner which have been accepted during the month of May. Click on the ‘Update’ button to save your alert.

Congratulations, you have now created your first patents alert. For each month going forward, this alert will show the results matching ‘Apple’ by owner which have been accepted for each month of the year.

To view the results of the alert, click on the name of your report under ‘My reports’ and click on the ‘Publish’ button. The patent monitoring report will now be created in PDF format.

In the next step you will create an alert to monitor your competitors by technology.

Step 3 – Create an alert to monitor your competitors by technology

A good way to monitor your competitors by technology is to monitor your competitors by the title or the International Patent classifications of their patents and patent applications.

As such, under your report in the ‘My Reports’ panel, click on ‘Insert Table’ to create a further alert.

For the first alert, you will create an alert to monitor your competitors patent and patent applications by title. For example, you could create an alert to monitor patents having the words ‘communication’ and ‘system’ in the title:

Generally, for searching:

  • system method finds results having system or method.
  • +system +method finds results having system and method
  • +system –method finds results having system but not method
  • syst* finds results having words such as system, systems or systematic
  • "System for using" finds results exact phrase system for using
  • Search is case insensitive

For the second alert, you will create an alert to monitor your competitors patent and patent applications by International Patent classification. For example, you could create an alert to monitor patents having the International Patent classification ‘H04J’:

To choose the appropriate International Patent classifications, have a look at the patent classifications of one or more related patents. For example, this patent shows the following International Patent classifications:

Step 4 – Create an alert to monitor the number of your competitors patents and patent applications

IP Monitor also allows for graphical representations of your competitor’s patent and patent applications.

To create a graphical alert, click on ‘Insert graph’ in the ‘My reports’ panel:

Using a graphical alert, you can compare two or more series. For example, to view the number of patents and patent applications recorded for Apple, Microsoft and Google, create the following alert:

The following graphical alert will be created:

To view the number of patents and patent applications recorded for Apple, Microsoft and Google that have been accepted for the current month, create the following alert:

To view the number of patents and patent applications recorded for Apple, Microsoft and Google that have been accepted for the current year, select ‘Past year’ to generate the following results:

Next steps

Congratulations, you have successfully created a patent monitoring report. Note that at the end of your session, your report will be deleted unless you join. If you join, your report will be saved against your email address in the database so that you can generate a report at each month showing the results for that month.

Note that while 6 month old reports are available for free, the latest reports are available to professional users by way of subscription.

If you need any assistance with creating a report, or setting up a subscription according to your needs, then please contact us to speak to a registered patent attorney.