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Case Studies

FTO Case Study

PROBLEM
Recently one of our clients was looking out for an FTO search for Georgia and Vietnam. The patents for this jurisdiction are not readily available. Initially the client had conducted a preliminary search at his end, but due to scarcity of the available data and linguistic barriers, no relevant results were found.
SOLUTION
Through our wide database coverage and access to machine translated publications for a huge number of geographies, including low patent filing nations such as Georgia & Vietnam, we were able to extract relevant alive patents, necessary to get the product cleared for marketing.
SUCCESS
We conduct country specific searches depending on the technology domain to uncover essentially relevant prior art that can help the client to make an appropriate business decision regarding the commercialization of his product.

A search project in 3 Hours

PROBLEM
A client of ours had a sudden and urgent need of finding prior art which could potentially invalidate 5 patents in a matter of a few hours. The client got in touch with us late at night when most of our search teams are not available.
SOLUTION
Looking at the situation we gave a suggestion to our client that we can provide you with a way out with the help of our Automated First Pass Invalidation Tool XLPAT. For every subject patent the search tool took around 10 minutes to take out results which could potentially invalidate it. Thus again proving that TT Consultants is a valuable ally and a trusted business partner when our clients face difficulties and tough times.
SUCCESS
Clients Reply - Thank you. Our team is still going through the results and is finding some promising references. We appreciate the prompt service and help.
Time and again TT Consultants has proven its worth by building on foundations of innovation and trust.

Landscape Query

We had a client who was looking for a Landscape Analysis on
Strain relief connector; cord grip; cable connector; cable gland
Product Description and Application
Strain relief connectors are used to provide strain relief for electrical cables/cords that are connected at to a junction box or access fitting. They are used to prevent pull-out damage to cable/cord connections.
Patent Search Requirements
  • List of patents with specific relevancy to strain relief connectors with special attention paid to:
    • Gripping mechanism: How the device grips the cable/cord
      • We are particularly interested in strain relief connectors that consist of a grommet (also known as bushing, gland, tube, etc.) with ‘teeth’ that help to grip the cable/cord when the cap of the connector is tightened
  • Regions: Canada and US
  • Types of Patents: Expired/Non-expired/Applications/Provisional/Non – Patent Literature.
Our Analysis gave him a clear picture about the patent’s and NPL which were filed under this domain, top assignees, top players in the industry. The analysis helped them identify top Companies who were doing heavy R&D on gripping mechanism. A detailed report explaining different types of gripping mechanism. Final output included an excel sheet of relevant patent bucket, a pdf file with the graphical analysis and a power-point presentation for the available solutions which helped our client get a complete overview of the different gripping mechanism techniques.

Tough Invalidity case and how we cracked it

PROJECT REQUIREMENT AND CLIENT’S INSTRUCTIONS:
A Joint Defense Group (JDG) of 20 companies approached TT Consultants for performing an invalidity search for a patented technology in the field of Internet Security and DRM (Digital Right Management). It was a short duration project as Inter-Party Review (IPR) was to be filed by the JDG in a few days. They had also performed an initial search on same case from other competitor firms but they were not satisfied with the prior arts found. They also asked us to exclude the references which they were already aware of (around 200+ references).
SOLUTION PROVIDED & CLIENT’S FEEDBACK:
We at TT Consultants follow a very detailed standard operating procedures (SOPs) defined individually for different type of searches. We follow 20-step SOP for doing a normal validity/invalidity search. We also pay a lot of attention on searching the foreign prior arts and non-patent literatures (NPLs).

We started the case by performing an exhaustive search on variety of databases which cover machine translated publications for a vast number of geographies (100+). As a standard operating procedure of all invalidity searches , we performed inequitable conduct search. We also performed search on patent office websites of different geographies in native languages. We did not focus only on identifying the 35 USC 102 prior arts but we also tried to combine the references on the basis of the broadest reasonable interpretation. To all these reason, we were able to identify some good patent citations which remained untouched by the other competitor companies. Through our expertise in NPL searching and access to best search engines like IEEE, ACM, Research-Gate, etc. We also uncovered a few relevant non-patent prior arts.
With 3 updates in 5 days, TT Consultants uncovered 6 relevant references (4 patent+2 Non-patent) in total which were not known to the client earlier. Our findings played a major role in IPR proceedings.
It was not easy going at all. But as very well quoted “the success is more tasteful when it comes the hard way”. Following the success of that case, JDG group hired us to do the follow up searches for 8 more cases. The original client feedback is as below -
We were quite happy with the results in the invalidity patent search. The top 6 references you had identified were all included in our initial invalidity contentions which were due on the specific date. I had spoken to you earlier about another case, one related to computer graphics. In that case, the joint defense group did an initial search. We’ve reviewed those results and are looking to do a follow-on search. I’ve cc’d my colleague here, who is leading our effort to organize a second prior art search in that matter.
It was really a tough project and one of those that we remember the most. We learned a lot from that case and grew stronger after that.

Prior Art Search Projects related to domain of Technology Standards

PROJECT REQUIREMENT:
Invalidation Search for an EP patent in the domain of Wireless Communications and OFDM scheme in particular.
APPROACH TO JOB:
There are well established search practices in our field like keyword, classification and assignee/inventor based search which every searcher has to perform. In addition to those practices, we have gained significant experience in Technology Standards while working in the field of Wireless Communications. So, there was a possibility to find certain IEEE and 3GPP or ETSI related documents relevant for the claim. We utilized our knowledge while working in technology standards in the past and performed the advanced search on the 3GPP, ETSI & IEEE databases to uncover the technical documents that are published as a part of Standard development process. We were able to drill down our search to a particular set of specifications and finally map few of them. Furthermore, working knowledge of Essential Patents (related to Standards) was also helpful in conducting a thorough search.
SUCCESS
DISTINGUISHING FACTORS & CLIENT FEEDBACK: We lay lot of importance on non-patent literature (NPL) in Prior Art search projects in addition to detailed patent search. This is the reason we were able to conduct search on 3GPP, ETSI & IEEE databases and find relevant technical documents in the end. Besides these sources, we have access to many other paid databases for non-patent literature. We believe that non-patent world is not yet structured as Patent world. Also, Patent examiners have a comparative disadvantage in searching for non-patent prior art because of time constraints. We have exploited this whitespace and become capable enough over the time to provide relevant NPLs in our reports. In this project, two 3GPP related documents and one EP patent citation uncovered using the search techniques mentioned above were considered as highly relevant by the client. So, he appreciated us after review of the report and also asked us about how we reached those relevant results.

Landscape for Home Automation Solutions Market

PROJECT REQUIREMENT:
A client who was interested to enter into HOME AUTOMATED SOLUTIONS market wanted to analyze the patent landscape in this technology and see who were the top assignees and countries of most active patent filing. The client was also interested to see who all were the top inventors in this technical space and for which companies they were working. The scope of this study also demanded us to provide whitespace areas where the client can focus his research and development and patent filing in the coming years.
APPROACH TO JOB:
The project started by conducting a background study on various technologies related to automated solutions in home category and analyzing a number of patents for a general overview. This was followed by formulating queries on patent databases to extract patents in the required field of: Automated solutions in home management. The parallels like mechanical industry or automobile companies in areas of robotics and software’s etc; were also covered. The study was followed by extracting patents of top competitors in the field of home automated solutions and analyzing what they have done in the area of automation particularly with respect to improving it, or metrics for reporting it. Patent filtering was done to remove irrelevant patents which were not related to our focus area of landscape review and a relevant patent bucket was finalized which further covered going through all relevant patents in detail to understand the technology in greater depth and formulating different technical categories to categorize the patent in different areas of scope. By categorizing each patent into the number of technical categories formed with searcher’s input into the patent novelty, inventive step, problems addressed and the solutions provided helped us to bring out intelligence on the progress of technology in different sectors and deduction of whitespace areas.
SOLUTIONS PROVIDED:
We provided observations and intelligence on the strategies and technologies which the top competitors were following. We provided a detailed presentation of the foreign companies that were working on automated solutions in home management.
A list of inventors having most number of patent applications and the companies for which they were working was prepared as per the client’s request.
A summary on available solutions in the foreign market for the addressed issue was prepared.
Providing a list of all available solutions related to increasing efficiency and easy management and what further approaches can be opted which are efficient and reliable based on the analysis of the patents and web search.
Final output included an excel sheet of relevant patent bucket, a pdf file with the graphical analysis and a powerpoint presentation for the available solutions and suggested whitespace areas which helped the client get a complete overview of the HOME AUTOMATED SOLUTIONS market all over the globe and strategize his IP in coming years.

Patent Licensing

We had an opportunity to assist a leading Mobile manufacturing company with cross licensing of their portfolio. This involved creating infringement maps and looking out for companies developing around the same technology domain. We provided detailed EoU claim charts, with a list of 20 potentially interested parties investing in similar technologies. Our reports and analysis aided licensing of 50 odd patents from a portfolio of 700 patents.

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