Of course, IP is not simply about protecting your own rights and waiting for the royalties to roll in. We help our clients to obtain an overview of the whole IP landscape.

For IP owners, this overview includes knowing how their IP relates to competitors’ products and vice-versa, the strength of competitors’ IP and their approach to enforcement.

 

Analysing these areas feeds into an appropriate IP strategy and can also provide valuable insight into how competitors operate.

Interested parties such as investors and M&A advisors also come to us for Due Diligence on a target’s IP rights.

 

Some questions which we can help to answer are:

Analysing patent filing patterns can provide information on how your competitors direct their R&D spend. This can act as an early warning indicator that a competitor is moving into a new area of research which conflicts with your own activities. We can conduct patent landscaping studies for particular industries, to pinpoint hot areas where relevant patenting activity is taking place.

We frequently conduct Due Diligence for M&A professionals and investors. This can include an analysis of whether patents are vulnerable to opposition, whether patent claims cover the appropriate products (in the right territories) and whether entitlement to IP assets is secure.  Similarly, reviewing the robustness of trade mark and design portfolios can be important to establish whether these rights were validly registered in the first place, whether there is any potential vulnerability to non-use cancellation (for trade marks), and whether there are any significant gaps in protection.

We have access to a vast amount of information from databases, Courts and Boards of Appeal across the world. A wealth of information is available, but not always readily accessible, unless you know how. This can give a real insight into competitors’ enforcement strategies. This is invaluable for deciding on an approach to settlement negotiations and whether to start or defend opposition/cancellation proceedings.

We frequently conduct freedom to operate exercises and patent clearance studies across a variety of industries.

We can strength-test competitor patents which are a cause for concern. If necessary, we can conduct detailed investigations and prior art searching to try to knock out competitor patents, or reduce their scope to allow you to design around them.

Along with an infringement opinion, we can often provide helpful suggestions as to how competitor patents might be designed around. Some of our attorneys are actively involved in their clients’ design processes and help to steer development away from problematic areas.

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