Freedom to operate

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Freedom to operate

  1. 1. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. Harnessing Patent Information for Enterprise Competitiveness Olivier Sacroug European Patent Attorney Katzarov SA Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  2. 2. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Information in the world of IP – Patent information – Scientific publications – Marketing information Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  3. 3. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • What is patent information? – published patent applications – published search reports – granted patents – published decisions – gazettes of patent offices Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  4. 4. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Why is patent information important? – Almost 1’000’000 new patent documents published every year over the last 10 years – 50’000’000 patent documents worldwide, describing 15’000’000 inventions – Exceptional source of technological information Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  5. 5. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Patent information is: – up-to-date – uniformly structured – unique – well organized – concentrated – quickly and easily accessed – inexpensive Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  6. 6. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Patent information is important for – large companies – small and medium enterprises – scientists and researchers – inventors – investors – patent attorneys, patent searchers – ... Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  7. 7. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • How to conduct searches – mandate an external provider: • patent search service provider • patent firm • patent offices – hire a specialist (patent agent, searcher) – search online (ep.espacenet.com) Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  8. 8. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • How to retrieve patent information – use cited references – use patent classification (IPC, EPC) – use key words – use filing numbers – use bibliographic data (applicant, inventors) – combining the above Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  9. 9. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Different uses of patent information – Patentability studies – Freedom to operate studies (FTO) – Technology surveys – Defensive publications Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  10. 10. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Patentability study – Can I get a patent for my invention? Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  11. 11. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Freedom to operate study – Can I market my invention? Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  12. 12. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Technology Survey – What do the others do? Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  13. 13. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Defensive publication – How can I prevent third parties from patenting something? Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  14. 14. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Patentability study: why? – To evaluate the chances of obtaining a patent for a determined invention / development – To help writing a better patent application – To avoid unnecessary costs of preparing and filing a useless patent application Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  15. 15. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Patentability study: when? – Once a solution is defined – Before filing a patent application Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  16. 16. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Patentability study: what? – Any publication (patent or non-patent documents) Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  17. 17. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Patentability study: how? – Look for the core features of the invention (the special case destroys the novelty of the general case) – Limited scope (often limited to a predefined budget) – Stops as soon as the invention is anticipated by one or more documents Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  18. 18. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Patentability study: result – Limited set of documents – Recommendations about the patenting strategy Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  19. 19. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Patentability study: actions + File a patent application to protect your invention +/- Adapt / limit the scope of protection to a part of your invention only - Give up any patent protection Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  20. 20. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Freedom to operate study: why? – Avoid being attacked for infringement by one or more competitors – Identify necessary licenses Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  21. 21. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Freedom to operate study: when? – Before starting a new development – Just before going to market: usually too late Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  22. 22. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Freedom to operate study: what? – Granted and valid patents – Patent applications Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  23. 23. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Freedom to operate study: how? – Extensive search – Look for broad patents – Patent family and validity searches – Carefully analyse patent claims – “Old” patents are disregarded (> 20 years) Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  24. 24. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Freedom to operate study: result – One or more patent families with legal status, time and geographical limits of each patent – Identification of possible infringements – Identification of possible licensors – Risk assessment Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  25. 25. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Freedom to operate study: actions + continue the development as planned +/- modify the solution +/- accept the risks - negotiate licenses - abandon, change direction Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  26. 26. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Technology Survey: why? – Understand what is occurring in your (future) technological area: • technological trends • subjects of research • emerging research fields – Avoid reinventing the wheels • find existing solutions to a technical problem • find solutions that are not yet protected Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  27. 27. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Technology Survey: why? – Watch your competitors • key players • patent portfolios • technical strategies – Survey third parties patents • patenting trends • threats • infringements Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  28. 28. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Technology Survey: when? – Before entering a new field – Continuously (usually starts after the first bad experience) Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  29. 29. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Technology Survey: what? – Patent documents – Scientific publications, newspapers, journals – Marketing information – Company publication – ... Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  30. 30. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Technology Survey: how? – Search script / strategy • Defined once • Periodically run • Continuously adapted – Embrace all documentation found – Analyse Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  31. 31. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Technology Survey: results – Patent documents – Statistics: • • • • per country / region per company / inventor per patent classification per year Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  32. 32. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Why do I need statistics – Country / region: markets of interest – Company: cooperating companies – Inventor: top inventors in a company – Classification: R&D focus – Year: old or emerging technological field Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  33. 33. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Technology Survey: actions – Oppose your competitors new patents – Adapt your R&D, marketing, investing and/or business strategies – Assess your strategy regarding new activities Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  34. 34. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Defensive publication: why? – Prevent a third party from patenting something Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  35. 35. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Defensive publication: how? – Publish discretely • Publish through specialized companies • File a patent application in an “exotic” country Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  36. 36. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Defensive publication: result – Published document with a certified publication date Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  37. 37. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Defensive publication: action – If necessary, use your defensive publication to destroy novelty of a competitor’s patent Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  38. 38. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. • Conclusion: – Harnessing information, in particular patent information, is essential to the establishment of a coherent and efficient business strategy and to avoid disputes with competitors. – Leads to greater earnings. Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  39. 39. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. Questions? Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007
  40. 40. Patentability Study FTO Tech. Survey Defensive Publ. Thank You! Olivier Sacroug Katzarov SA European Patent & Trademark Attorneys Geneva and Basel admin@katzarov.com Tel: +41 22 342 66 30 Fax: +41 22 342 66 15 www.katzarov.com Copyright © KATZAROV S.A. 20/02/2007

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