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XPAT - the Patent Data Information System

Patent monitoring and workflows

During the development of the XPAT patent information system, special attention was paid to the flexible design of the workflow. Of course, you can search in XPAT at any time (ad hoc) and use it to display the current state of the patent landscape. The most recently loaded fonts are always displayed at the top, so that the "new" always catches the eye directly.

In order to systematically detect development trends and newly published documents that are unpleasant or even dangerous for your own company, you need to regularly search for such documents. XPAT takes over this task in an automated form. Patent monitoring is the continuous and systematic observation of developments, trends and activities that are revealed in patent documents at a very early stage. This also enables XPAT users to visualize the situation with competitors and in important technology fields in their own database. This makes XPAT not only the most suitable tool for technology monitoring and competition analysis, but also and especially for patent monitoring, which is necessary everywhere.

In XPAT, the driving engines of patent monitoring are various automatically running search profiles that search the patent databases week by week and transfer the interesting and important documents into the own database without any additional work by the user. I.e. this monitoring runs until then completely without further manual effort and supplies the own XPAT database weekly with new writings from the range defined by the search profiles.

Relevant Documents

New XPAT documents are stored in a pre-database, which can now be systematically browsed in a first step either manually and thereby marked as relevant/not relevant or transferred to the XPAT main database by specifying internal search profiles in a second step.

Every company has highly qualified engineers who have to review patent specifications for their technical content. Such relevant documents are the source of many business and strategic decisions. For example, does protected foreign technology hinder the company's own planned developments, is Freedom to Operate (FTO) thus guaranteed? Are there documents that contain similar or even infringing information compared to one's own intellectual property rights? And the fact is often overlooked that one can also find suggestions from other people's ideas, which can favor or promote one's own inventions.

But it is important to be able to send the new documents automatically to the appropriate engineer or researcher. This is exactly what XPAT does with its enormous workflow capabilities. Internal search profiles access the new documents and the documents matching the profile are automatically placed in a work list for the target persons. It can be decided how the recipient of the distribution or patent circulation should react. For example, the same documents can be distributed to one recipient in such a way that he or she has to assess the content of the documents as critical, important or non-critical using a traffic light system, and the same document can be sent to another person at the same time, for example, who simply wants to be informed. What use is the best information in the house if the people who depend on the information only come across the information that is relevant to them rather by chance? In XPAT, this is regulated by clear structures and automatism ensure that the relevant information circulates in a targeted manner without anyone having to constantly take care of it in detail. In this way, documents are evaluated by the experts and all users benefit from this additional in-house information.

Classification / Commenting

If documents are considered conspicuous or disturbing, they can be classified in XPAT and commented on accordingly. This information is searchable and can in turn form the basis of new information flows. For example, information can be provided on which documents were marked as critical in the previous week. This closes the circle in the comprehensive XPAT workflow.

  • External search profiles as starting point of patent monitoring
  • Targeted distribution of relevant documents in definable workflow
  • Feedback of evaluated documents to the patent department

Legal status of patents or changes in patent families of competitors

Patent monitoring finds critical or at least relevant writings from the relevant business and technology environment. Here it is already possible to recognize that applications which are currently harmless - because they have no protective effect - could be very disruptive if they are granted. This makes it possible to start compiling opposition material at an early stage in order to be prepared in the event of a case. In addition to these possibilities, XPAT of course completely maps the "state of the art" relevant for one's own company in its own database by selecting the information.

In order to never miss the point in time when a document acquires legal force and protective effect as a granted patent or loses it again through non-payment of any fees, there is an automatic legal status monitoring in XPAT. Interesting intellectual property rights are marked for legal status monitoring and thus regularly monitored by the XPAT system for changes. However, not only changes of the legal status, such as a grant or a dropping (expiration, lapsed documents) are automatically and traceably reported, but also the patent family is always automatically completed. The user is thus informed immediately whether the family critical to him has been extended by further documents. The distribution of the documents in the world also reveals strategic intentions of the competitor, and thus such legal status monitoring is the beginning of a systematic competitive analysis.

Systematic competitor monitoring and constant technology analysis

There are currently more than 100 million published intellectual property rights. And the growth rates are enormous. It is therefore becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish the relevant from the irrelevant. The sheer volume of information alone makes this possible. The requirement for patent monitoring today is therefore not only the procurement of relevant documents, but also the selection of documents that are relevant for the company. Of course, this work is not done gladly by developers in the enterprise, since these tasks are to be done somehow additionally and still besides. XPAT, however, reduces and systematizes this work. Of course, in the age of globalization, a company still needs to keep itself informed about the state of the art in order to keep developers up to date, to protect its own intellectual property rights, and to ensure Freedom to Operate (FTO). And at the end of the day, consistently analyzing the state of the art and competitors will avoid expensive, troublesome and, in many cases, painful patent disputes.

"Knowing" simply means saving time and costs and must be a strategic goal for every company. Therefore, before starting new and often cost-intensive developments, it is essential to check where there are third-party property rights that complicate one's own developments, which must be circumvented or from whom one can seek appropriate licenses. Before starting developments, you have to know what the state of the art is and you have to check which active property rights have to be observed. All of this can save you from potentially severe penalties. If you behave correctly, you can offer your products to the market undisturbed and will ultimately be successful.

Every company will claim that it knows its competitors. But is this always the case at all times? If, for example, a company changes sub-areas of its technology (e.g. ceramics to plastics), new competitors can suddenly play a role. No one seriously wants to have to wait for a competitor's trade show appearance to be informed about such things. With patent monitoring in XPAT, however, one systematically tracks down competitors in all sub-areas of technology. One observes, so to speak, which developments in technological terms all competitors are taking. Statistical functions in XPAT also allow statistical analyses to be made and help to answer the question, how well is the company positioned technologically? What patent strategies are competitors pursuing? XPAT provides answers to these questions. However, not only patent specifications will help, but also literature documents. XPAT processes patent and literature information on an equal footing and makes use of professional tools such as thesauruses, selection lists and dictionaries.

Recognition of competitors and competitor analysis

With the searches for relevant IPC and CPC classes, for competitor names and for technology-relevant keywords, the patent monitoring provides an image of the competitors based on patent specifications. Using XPAT's internal statistics, it is also possible to visualize various correlations. There are not only single prefabricated statistic charts, but also creatable reports, which on the one hand provide different graphics for a search and on the other hand also allow their collection in an editable Word file. In this way, you can process the information content graphically and memorably, transfer it cleanly and automatically into a word processing document, and perfect this file with your own conclusions. An immense simplification of work.

The statistics make development trends of the competition visible at an early stage. In XPAT, there is a grouping tool that subsumes the different spellings of the applicants under one group name and thus makes it possible to search for these group names comprehensively without losing the possibility of also being able to search specifically for a particular applicant. Statistics thus gain a lot in clarity.

What are competitors planning or doing? What are the development priorities and activities?

You can tell whether a topic is currently topical for this company or not simply by looking at the increasing or decreasing number of patent applications over time. In many cases, this can be used to determine where the company is headed. You can therefore tell from these "publication trends" which topics the competitors are currently dealing with.

But it is not only the technology itself that is interesting. The expansion or restriction of activities in certain states also allows an interpretation of the activities. Where is registration taking place? Where is it no longer being registered? Are there new states that are being included? This definitely allows conclusions to be drawn as to whether certain markets have new appeal for the company or whether it is gradually withdrawing from existing markets.

The patent monitoring of the XPAT system provides the basis for all these important insights in the company. Automatics save time and therefore money and work reliably. In addition, XPAT is developed by a company that has been committed to ensuring that XPAT delivers its benefits to customers for more than 30 years. Internal events also ensure that constant suggestions from customers are promptly implemented in XPAT.

In addition to patent monitoring, workflows, state of the art and patent alerts, G.E.I. KRAMER & HOFMANN mbH provides with products from the XPAT family comprehensive solutions for file management (XPAT File), trademarks (XPAT Trademark), designs (XPAT Design), evaluation of intellectual property rights (XPAT Rating), a meeting - tool (XPAT IP Meeting), a tool for knowledge management (XPAT Standards) and a search documentation (XPAT RecDoc).

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Due to the requirement of customers the following XPAT modules have been developed:

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XPAT File (XPAT Akte)

This file management is not only the management of the customer's own intellectual property rights with the invention disclosure, objections, trademarks, cost overviews, etc., but also the management of approvals, contracts, licenses.

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XPAT Trademark

XPAT Trademark allows to monitor and manage your own and other brands and logos. The data from nearly 30 trademark offices are used as basis of XPAT Trademark.

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XPAT Standards

The broad field of standards offers a lot in terms prior-art information. Furthermore, for almost all businesses producing the exact compliance with the valid standards is required.