High quality patent search has long been one of the trusted pillars of confident intellectual property (IP) decision making, helping innovation managers, attorneys and business leaders as they navigate their way through a complex competitive landscape. But today, patent search is under siege, facing pressures to transform in response to a technological revolution and the resulting changes in consumer behaviour. So how must patent search adapt if it is to survive?

Seven key challenges facing patent search:

1. Commercial and competitive imperatives are driving product development to occur at a more rapid rate, warranting quick, confident decision making (including supporting opinions).
2. The static nature of traditional search results are many times limited in the face of such dynamic market activity.
3. As filing volumes rise, so too does the amount of global patent literature available, causing concern in the accuracy of patent search findings.
4. Similarly, the commensurate proliferation of non-patent literature and alternative information sources pose an even greater challenge to sustaining the integrity of findings.
5. IP legislation across the world continues to shift with regularity.
6. The pace of globalisation and birth of new IP powerhouse nations mean more threats on more fronts…and with greater frequency.
7. The demands of sustaining data security and compliance rigour, which continue to form the foundations of strong IP.

The change in Patent Search

Irrespective of the changing IP landscape, industry professionals must continue to deliver advice and insight. The reliability of patent search findings is paramount. Mature sources, tools and processes (backed by on-going investment and additional technologies) should be implemented only by expert searchers.

Replacing static, point-in-time search results with dynamic methodologies that sustain their relevance, can reveal new information that impacts decision making in real time. To keep pace with the rate of innovation and patent data, a patent search must be dynamic to sustain value. For findings that influence business decisions, results must be delivered quickly and in a format that can be easily examined. This demands more accessible ways of delivering, displaying and consuming search results, using visualisations that both IP experts and stakeholders can access and act upon.

The scale of information available makes it even more important for humans and technology to collaborate. Technology can empower researchers to cover more ground in their analysis. Without close guidance from technical experts, however, the value of findings for business insight can be compromised. This changing dynamic requires researchers to evolve in their role, and get creative to leverage these advantages brought upon by technology.

The barriers between inventors, IP Counsel, Search Analysts and PTOs oftentimes breed risk and inefficiency. But today’s collaboration technologies can be used to break down silos, empowering new and more effective IP processes. Technology can facilitate these new processes and be used throughout the IP lifecycle for consistency and quality. For example, developing search briefs through interactive tools now available can combine human expertise with powerful semantic search algorithms. By reaching a common understanding of objectives, collaboration protects and nurtures the quality and value of search results.

Collaborate with CPA Global and conquer challenges and changes

The adoption of new technologies and speed of innovation does not need to undermine the integrity of patent search tools. It is important to work with partners that understand the changing IP landscape and have developed adaptable technologies and service methodologies. IP services that preserve confidentiality and data security can introduce expert patent search functionality to IP owners and help to drive future business successes.

We understand the challenges faced by organisations and firms today. Our ability to provide you with the service and support you need to create, protect, maintain and optimise IP all along the lifecycle, enables you to serve your clients and continue to grow your client base…all the while optimising your practise. Read more on CPA Global Patent Search here.