The Importance Of Patent Landscape Analysis To Business Strategy

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The innovation lies at the core of the patenting process; however, it cannot alone guarantee success. Besides working on the invention, another groundwork needs to be covered to support the end product. Various means are employed by the organization to ensure their challenging work culminates into a valuable patent. Patent landscaping is one such tool that assists in increasing their chances of a favorable outcome.  

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What is Patent Landscape Analysis? 

Patent landscaping provides an overview of the business, scientific, and technological trends to give deep insight to decision-makers. This multi-step process collects relevant data from a geographic region, industry, or technology to review, organize, and extract value for the organization. 

By offering an insight into the current landscape, Patent Landscape Reports (PLRs) are instrumental in risk minimization through informed decision-making. Instead of relying on intuition or personal networks, PLR (Patent Landscape Reports) uses technology to base critical decisions on data-driven information.  

Patent documents and non-patent literature are the sources of data collection in a patent landscape search. Publications, PCT (Patient Cooperation Treaty) applications, Granted Patents, Post-Grant documents, Kind Codes, Classifications, Claims, Citations, etc., constitute the patent documents that are reviewed. These form the primary source of PLR reports. 

Non-patent literature includes scientific journals, public conference disclosures and research announcements, social media, magazines, etc. This forms the secondary source of research in PLR data collection. 

Importance of a Patent Landscaping Report   

The scope of a PLR ranges from widespread to narrow depending on the organizational requirements. Some reports are so extensive that they even cover Freedom to Operate and other peripheral elements. Regardless of the scope, the prime objective of PLRs is to assist in informed decision-making. Strategic decisions on investment, R&D, new product launches, and competitor activity are made easier with the help of PLRs. In tech-driven industries especially, PLRs are immensely useful to sieve through the massive volume of data and complexity of issues shrouding the decision-making process. While risk cannot be eliminated completely, a sound analysis of history and trends boosts the probability of a desired outcome. 

Using PLR to Shape Business Strategy 

PLRs are an essential means of gaining insight into various aspects that influence the decision-making process. Below are the ways in which it can enhance business intelligence: 

  1. Competitor Monitoring 
    Competition analysis and Monitoring is an essential element of business strategy. Given that no industry is devoid of competition, a PLR is mandatory in all sectors. It can give you deep insights into your competitor’s sales, strategies, and market share. You can get critical information on the products your competitor is developing or intends to develop, their strategic partnerships/collaborations, R&D efforts, as well as the frequency of litigation. This data can be effectively utilized to discern their next move and design an effective counterstrategy.  
  2. Mergers & Acquisitions 
    For tech-savvy originations, the innovative benefit and alignment are equally important as the traditional factors of the market and economy. By performing technological due diligence, they can assess the compatibility and determine which companies to acquire. If two companies are working on a similar subject matter, they might vary in their approach. Understanding this difference can justify a merger keeping the greater goal in mind. With the help of PLRs companies can gain knowledge on various aspects and evaluate the impact of an M&A. 
  3.  Research & Development 
    PLR reports help map the patents and assets owned by the organization. This aids in identifying the gaps or ‘white spaces’ the organization can venture into. It highlights the opportunities for future growth available in a sector as well as the pressure of competition that exists. Organizations can also learn if a particular technology area will move into commercialization. This helps steer efforts in the right direction and design a systematic approach for investing time and resources into viable options.  
  4. Litigation & Licensing 
    PLRs reveal the details of companies that are designing close to or around your core IP. This information can be used to identify infringers as well as licensing opportunities. If a competitor is threatening to enter your tech territory or already infringing on the tech, the litigation route can be adopted to prevent them from stealing your patented technology. Alternatively, patent owners can license their technology to infringers as well as start-ups who will benefit from the tech and are likely to be interested in licensing it. This helps monetize the invention while retaining ownership rights.  

Ensuring Effective PLR Reports 

Creating PLR reports is a time-consuming and expensive process, it is, therefore, important that they offer satisfactory results to the organization. The reports must ask the right questions that pertain to the needs of the organization. Suitable answers must be provided for these reports with a rationale that justifies them effectively. Reports that adhere to these standards are high-quality and extremely valuable to the decision-making process. 


PLR reports are invaluable instruments for informed decision-making. There is no set pattern to a PLA, each report is created to cater to the specific needs of an organization and with different objectives in mind. But the end product is always a document that provides focused information/data accessible to organizations. The information thus gained has a profound impact on decision-making and can be leveraged to make significant present and future gains.  

Given the criticality of a PLR to organizational policy formulation, a reputed and experienced firm must be entrusted with the creation of the report. Hiring a trusted firm is the first step to ensuring fruitful results that will provide continued benefits to the organization in the long run.  

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