Inventions & Patent Infringement
clients: case study
When designing new products or improving existing ones, companies face a dilemma. Pushing forward without patent clearance is risky. Yet reviewing all new product ideas for potential patent infringement increases the costs of engineers and lawyers and delays the introduction of new products.
One of the largest industrial companies in the world wanted a way to determine quickly whether a new or re-designed product might infringe existing patents. In-house patent counsel called in Neota Logic.
Working closely with the company's engineers and patent lawyers, Neota Logic created a Virtual Patent Advisor (the "VPA") to automate much of the patent infringement review process.
The VPA interviewed the inventor much as a patent lawyer would. After collecting initial information, the VPA helped the inventor to search a database of existing patents. If the VPA found a potential for patent infringement, it created a streamlined report for the in-house patent lawyers so they could review the issue immediately. The report included answers from the online interview, tentative conclusions and annotated patents, all in a single, easy-to-use electronic report. The system then prioritized the clearance reviews based on business need and sent the reports to lawyers for analysis and action.
The Virtual Patent Advisor improved the review in four ways:
- "What used to take a month or more is now reduced to less than an hour," according to the senior patent lawyer.
- Lead time for getting new or re-designed products to market was reduced by a month or more, contributing to greater returns and competitive advantage.
- Counsel could focus on higher-value work—the truly difficult clearances.
- Inventors could make early and frequent inquiries because the VPA was easy to use—and avoids the costs and delays of consulting live counsel too early in the clearance process.