Smart Ways to Address the Patent Analysis Needs of the Medical Devices Industry – Patents

The medical devices patent wars are raging and competing against those of the pharmaceutical industry. The situation for the medical devices patenting fraternity gets worse with the distinguished importance gathering towards the design patents. The recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit makes the design patents even more valuable than the process patents.That is to say, the complexity associated with the medical devices patent community in order to maintain the competitive edge for their respective companies is manifold. However, it is certainly a no brainer to visualize this scenario if perceived from the barriers to competition (regulatory approval, reimbursement – Govt or Insurance; large R&D expense) and the patent heavy nature (maintenance of monopoly; lifecycle management; litigation requirement) of the industry per se.Patent departments in the medical devices industry have started to play a significant role in the overall strategic decisions of their respective companies. There is often little to choose without adequate help in their decision making processes. Hence, the need to have affordable intelligent information is quite justified.The kind of information that companies typically seek from knowledge services vendors is as follows1. Build Vs Buy – To make an informed ‘Build Vs Buy’ decision, it often requires a detailed technology landscape report consisting of data culled from patent, non patent, product literature. For example, actionable information enables the IP departments in companies to identify a foreign academic spinoff startup with strong IP and advise their business development counterparts to make an offer to purchase the target company or build it in-house so that their R&D team has a renewed focus with justification.2. Throttle Vs Invest – The nature of competitive intelligence has awed many an organizations looking for meaningful investments. For example, a well crafted IP, technology, manufacturing and market trends database can help in a decision to hold off from investing in huge plants and build smaller plants instead. Also, abstract intelligence like capacity glut and slackening of demand can also be obtained with marked accuracy.3. Geographic targeting – Medical devices industry space presents with it the need to select a geography or just approaching it in aggregate. For example, the patent to product mapping with their remaining patent life periods can be vital in determining the viability and estimating the appropriate time to market in a specific geography.The costs associated in gathering the above classified information could be enormous at times. Hence, companies have an inherent need to make use of software tools to provide such information on the fly. Thus, the age for information visualization tools have been ushered in the patent analysis market. Samir Raiyani, CEO – Dolcera says that powerful yet affordable information visualization tools with little learning curve to even equip the C level executives is the need of the hour.The new version of the patent dashboard simply addresses this need and the collaborative nature of it is just an added flavor. It’s only a question of time before the game changing experiment in Medtronic is repeated throughout the medical devices industry leaving no company unturned.