Why use patents?
Patents make up a large proportion of published technical literature, are often the first publicly available report of an invention, and provide all the technical detail of the invention. About 80% of the world's technical data only exists in patent form.
IP Australia (2008) gives the following reasons for using patent information
- Avoid wasting time and money duplicating work done elsewhere.
- Look for technology that is available for licensing or in the public domain because it was not patented in Australia or patent protection has expired.
- Monitor your competitor's research activities. Technical information about your competitor's products or processes might be published in a patent specification years before they appear on the market.
- Keep an eye on trends in technology and emerging key players.
- Avoid infringing someone else's patent (and ensuing costly legal disputes).
IP Australia (2008) Why use patent information. Retrieved July 11, 2008, from http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/patents/search_searching.shtml