One may have copious amounts of intellectual property rights (IPR) related data of different industries from different databases in the web/public domain but having data alone does not provide any strategic intelligence until we analyze the data to get some relevant information out of it. Competitive intelligence (CI) is an act related to identifying, evaluating and collecting patent and market data to know about your industry growth, competitors and their strengths and weaknesses. It provides information about competitor's plans, their product and their next steps. Additionally, CI helps to identify market risks and opportunities and provides market data to make a strategic plan for future growth.
Intellectual property (IP) is involved in new and innovative technologies which demand multimillion dollars expenditures on applications, registrations and attorney's fees for patenting. In IP, CI gives a proper information of related product and its competitors so that one can go through data and decide further advancement in your innovation. Investing money for patenting an innovation is again a risk, or you may lose any good research-oriented area which the CI might cover.
In a landscape study, Competitive Intelligence is used to get information on competitive threats, to minimize surprises, major key players and to explore new opportunities. CI provides significant patent data to competitors for R&D and developing products & services.
Interestingly, Competitive Intelligence may also be used for opposition searches. The competitor may know patent application (another competitor) and its applicant and further other patent applications of respective patent document.
Competitive Intelligence is also related to freedom to operate searches in which it may provide main features of marketed products and its applicants to understand the scope of developing or commercializing a new product. CI can also provide marketed product countries or those areas which are yet to be explored for marketing the same product.
How Competitive Intelligence works
CI can be categorized/conducted on the basis of a competitor or a product/domain to explore how applicants are growing their IP:
- Competitor based CI focuses on technological growth of a particular competitor, its mergers/acquisitions and marketed products.
- Domain or product-based CI includes top competitors of domain/product, what are the different technologies of different competitors and possible R&D areas for future advancements.
In conclusion, CI plays a major role in IPR domain to aid in decisions related to maintaining and increasing market share for a technology applicant, technology assessment, to get licensing, to watch top competitors and their products, to solving technical problems and to collect meaningful insights for future advancements.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.