Are you up to date on the recent patent activity of your main competitors? Targeted competitor monitoring in patent databases is a powerful tool to stay current on the technologies your competitors are working to protect. Depending on your needs, we can design a monitoring program that focuses on selected companies or even on specific patent applications. We can carry out manual searches at regular intervals, or set up automated search profiles for more continuous monitoring.
How to react?
Keeping track of competitors’ patent application processes allows you to respond to changes in a timely fashion, for example by refocusing your own product development or by filing an opposition against a granted patent. Typically, the opposition period is nine months from the date of the patent grant. After that, it is possible to bring a suite for annulment before a court that holds jurisdiction over the matter, which in Finland is the Market Court.
Filing an opposition against a competitor’s patent requires that we have access to documentation that provides the grounds for the opposition. The documentation must prove that based on the claims of the granted patent application, the invention should not have been granted a patent due to lack of novelty or inventive step. Other grounds for opposition are insufficient explanations, or the addition of new material to the application after it was filed.
Should I be worried?
Our attorneys will help you form an informed view of how the patents and applications found in the competitor analysis affect your business. For granted patents, we evaluate whether your patent falls within the scope of protection. For pending patent applications, we provide an estimate of the likelihood and probable scope with which the application may result in a granted patent. The estimate is based on the processing history of the application as well as the status of other applications in the same patent family.
What kinds of trademarks are your competitors registering?
Competitor monitoring of trademarks may also be advantageous in some industries.
Feel free to consult our experts on whether your business could benefit from tracking your competitors’ trademark registrations, while simultaneously gaining valuable insight into the trends and activities in your field of operation.