Competitive Intelligence at the Global IP Exchange

Emma Roubtsov tackles competitive intelligence in a round table at the Global IP Exchange and summarizes her top takeaways from the discussion.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I attended the Global IP Exchange conference in Munich at the beginning of March. One event that I moderated was a Round Table on Competitive Intelligence. Before I go further, I want to thank those people that elected to join my table and for all of their active participation during the session. It was quite obvious to me that while we weren’t the loudest table in the room, we were by far the most interesting.

I’d love to share some of the conclusions/thoughts with you from the session around competitive intelligence best practices.

  • Competitive Intelligence starts with you and your portfolio! Unless you have broken down and understood what is in your portfolio, you have no benchmark to which to compare the competition.

  • Don’t underestimate the intel from the engineers/scientists/researchers/technician. They know their subject matter and their technology extraordinarily well. If they are doing their jobs correctly then a big part of that is to know the strengths and weaknesses of others in the space, those prominent inventors, and in general, what is being worked on. The challenge here is that they have all of this information in their heads. Getting it out and in to a shared format will only make the business better. Regular meetings or internal forums for sharing this type of information was suggested.

  • Know your competitors’ products; not just their IP. Know the important parts of the competitors’ products.

  • Have tools/platforms at your disposal to assist with bench marking, monitoring. (I liked this suggestion the best, but then I am a little biased!)

  • Understand where your competitor may be placing his bet on his technology of the future – take a look at the patent families of those applications inside their portfolio to see how large they are. Multiple applications filed in multiple jurisdictions could be indicative of his level of confidence in his gamble and how much money he is willing to put at stake.

  • A view of emerging trends (perhaps) or new technology that could have future value: take a look at applications that have already acquired some forward citation, exclude self-citations. It can help to recognize technology, even in its early stages, that is already gaining momentum and being recognized.

  • Be proactive. Taking good insights and intelligence to the business rather than the business coming to the IP team clearly demonstrates the IP team’s value and significance to the rest of the business.

  • Keep an eye on your customers… they can become your competitors.

  • Data is everywhere… true insights are needed. 

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