Posted in: Guest Contributors, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patent Fools™, Patent Litigation
Prior art research is playing an increasingly important role for companies with potential exposure to IP litigation. Companies are spending millions of dollars in legal expenses to understand the true value of patents. In some cases, entire industries are threatened by growing litigation from non-practicing entities (NPEs). Look no further than the now infamous Lodsys lawsuit filed against the App Developer community, including Angry Birds developer Rovio, which is facing a much bigger threat than pesky evil pigs. It is essential that these companies perform the most complete prior art search to defend in this litigation.
Crowdsourcing for prior art has recently emerged to revolutionize the patent research space and overcome the limitations of traditional search techniques. Traditional searches generally involve Western-language based digitized searches. For foreign non-patent publications, only the abstracts are digitized for inclusion in Western-language based digitized databases. The research thus misses the full text and footnotes. It also is important to note that, for digitized publications, critical content is not digitized – such as tables, figures, graphs and photographs. In addition, whole classes of publications besides historical publications (e.g., out-of-print books) are not digitized. These include editorials, business materials, physical products, out-dated manuals on products, software, and standards meeting notes.