Technology Scouting – Understanding the Basics

We are living in an era of knowledge where much of our success depends on how we create, conserve and utilize that knowledge in practice. For maximum benefits therefore, it is important for companies to keep a tab on their technology and keep innovating. The simplest method of creating a robust patent portfolio is by creating an in-house team of innovators, scientists, and techno-experts who have history of working in that particular domain. However, for an individual company it might be a tough task as it requires plenty of resources in terms of money and man-power. There is an alternative to that though which is “Technology Scouting”. With this, companies can minimize their resources and get maximum benefits in terms of building a robust patent portfolio either by licensing or buying someone else’s patent(s).

Viewing the degree of risks involved in patents it is important to search, identify and utilize all existing inventions that can have an impact on the development of a new technology. Thus, Technology Scouting can be defined as a “way of finding, analyzing and evaluating all existing inventions that are necessary to start, complement or accelerate the development of a new technology/product”.

A comprehensive and detailed technology scouting reveals all the major facets related to a technology including key patents, competitor’s activity in the domain, research activity by universities or the overall activity of various organizations operating in that particular domain.

Identifying the Innovators- Identifying potential innovators andsourcing them forinnovation related activities is one of the most important aspects in developing a cutting age technology. With technology scouting we find innovators who have years of experience in intended technology domain and can add value to your research and development.

Identifying various Universities involved in that area- Universities are hotspots of innovations and thus it is important for a company to search various universities that are operating in that particular technology or domain. Most of the companies that are technology leaders have built their mighty patent portfolios by sourcing research works conducted by various universities. Since universities are equipped with numerous students, scholars, scientists and developers they can be of immense use in terms of developing a new technology.

Understanding Collaborations between Universities and Companies- Collaborating with universities is another important ways to develop a mighty patent portfolio, however, before entering into such agreement it is important to understand if the university is already in such an agreement with any other company (ies). In case it is already in collaboration with a company, it can’t license a particular invention to third parties as per the rules. A complete and full technology scouting service can help companies identify such terms and conditions.

Identifying Trends from Technology Clusters- A detailed and complete patent scouting process could help companies identify various trends of a particular technology and thus companies can make informed decisions about their future technologies.

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