So, you have an idea, which you believe can ease the way people perform their daily tasks. Before you go ahead with thinking of manufacturing products using it, and marketing to different regions, you need to know certain facts, which I have discussed in this blog. Also, I have covered the importance of market research along with prior art search.
As you know, companies and investors are always looking for unique inventions and ideas to provide market with something new. So, you should do thorough research in different areas of your invention to come up with new, innovative ideas.
Your invention is valuable, and you should protect it from others. So, the first thing you need to do is to obtain patent of your invention to restrict others use it for making or selling products. When filing the patent application, you need to mention a set of claims, which you should choose carefully. Thus, for great claims, you should know market trends, technologies in demand, applications, etc.
Do you know there is a possibility that the technology you have invented or inventing is already patented by someone else? Or someone has filed an application in the patent office for that. Sounds horrible!! But, don’t worry, there is a method to check that – Prior art search.
Prior art search (also called patentability) provides you detailed information about the research done in different areas of the technologies you are inventing/invented. This tells whether your invention is patentable or not.
With the help of prior art search, you can know everything about the already invented technology, like patent holder, claims, etc. Thus, rather than focusing on what is already known to the world, you can put efforts on innovating and researching new technologies that can easily be patented.
As we all know that patents are great sources of income. If your invention is unique and has broad claims, you will surely earn a lot of money. Thus, the whole game revolves around the patent claims. Let’s go deeper to this topic.
The source of patent claims is your or drafter’s knowledge about your invention. Usually, this is only prior art search and brief description about your invention. But, believe me, this is not enough.
As you know that your invention is to be converted into products one day, and brought in the market for sale in the form of products. You should explore all areas of your invention, know the markets in which it can bring revolution, market trends now and after 5-10 years, top companies working on the technologies similar to it, etc. All these studies are comprised in a single study named market research.
I am not saying that prior art search has no use, but prior art search with market research provide better results.
Now, you have understood that to earn great sums of money, you need to add broadest possible claims to your patent application, and a detailed market analysis can be helpful in that. Also, your patent will have more value and give high ROI.
You should thoroughly research your invention, know the markets to which it is going to influence, patent environment, existing and future products, etc.
Also, when a patent is interpreted, its claims are read according to the embodiments. More exclusive the embodiments are, broader is the area of protection. Let’s consider two cases. In case one, patent drafter doesn’t have market research data, and relies upon the inventor’s input, and writes only two embodiments (suppose). It means the patent holder can get protection in two market areas, thus narrow scope of the patent. In case two, the inventor conducted market research, and the patent drafter considered it when drafting your patent. He will able to write 8 embodiments (suppose). As a result, the patent holder will get the right to use/sell his invention in 8 different market areas.
I have further explained why you should consider market research during/before prior art search. Please have a look at–
Till now, you know that studying the markets is extremely important. With the help of market research, you can know the markets/industries your invention can used in. Let’s take an example, your invention has applications in 10 different industries, out of which 7 are in growing phase. I will suggest you spend extra time and money to obtain patent and write embodiments and dependent claims pertaining to these 7 industries. More distinct embodiments mean wider interpretation and implementation of the claims. Definitely, you will get more ROI.
We all know that competitors are the main barriers to success. Suppose, you own a cycle manufacturing company, and there is another company with similar business in your city. Suppose, the latter added a unique cycle lock in its products, which allow people to lock the wheels at a distance. Now, sales of your company’s cycles will be affected. What to do in this case? You need to add advanced locking feature to your cycles and innovate more to build sales. Thus, market analysis helps you track competitors’ activities, and suggests the right ways to increase customer base and generate revenue.
Your patent drafter is the person who can help you get a patent with great claims. Whatever information you provide to him, he will write claims accordingly. If you have market research data, he can have better understanding of the invention, and able to write market-centered independent and dependent claims and and market sound embodiments in the description section.
Have you ever thought why big companies always stay at top positions? There are several reasons – diversifying product lines, inventing advanced technologies, new product launches, etc. When you conduct market research, you got to know what are the top companies in the industries to which your invention belongs. In case your invention is an upgraded version of a technology a big company is working on presently, you can get chances of patent licensing agreements in the future.