Market Research – Why It Should Be Considered Before/During Prior Art Search

An invention is a set of ideas and thoughts to ease the way people perform their daily tasks. An Inventor can be a business or an individual who has an objective behind the invention. A lot of money is required to present the invention to the world, thus, investors who find it interesting fund the R & D operations.

The invention process is very wide. There is no fix time when an invention is converted into useful products. It can take 5, 10 years or even more. The R & D department performs a series of operations one after another – describing the business vision, creating strategies, describing the R & D processes, identifying resources, and drafting designs. The R & D teams comprehensively study all areas of the invention, collect different ideas, which are then combined to build products and services. Thus, the research to development of invention comprises a wide range of processes, which need thousands or millions of dollars.

Patenting an invention

An invention is patented to prevent it from being theft by others. The inventor can restrict individuals and companies from using his/her invention for making or selling products during its life. When filing a patent application, the inventor needs to mention a set of claims, which he/she should choose carefully. So, it is recommended to know the market trends, new technologies, applications, etc. at the time of performing the R & D operations, which will help in getting great claims.

An invention can only be patented if it doesn’t contain any part of the previously patented technology and meet certain uniqueness standards. To find if your invention is already known or not, prior art search is conducted. The innovator can do prior art search on his/her own, or hire an expert for this purpose.

What is prior art search?

Prior art search can be defined as collecting information about the technologies associated with the invention. It’s main objective is to know whether the invention is patentable or not. Sources of prior art search include previous patents, filed patents, scientific reports, research papers, textbooks, newspapers, journals, and internet publications. There are many inventions that are never used in products and services, and these should also be considered during the patent filing process. On the internet, a wide range of tools are available that can help you conduct an efficient prior art search.

Prior art search can provide details about previous inventions in the field, new products and services, etc. It prevents reinventing the already existing inventions. With this, the R & D department can know the already existing technologies, and focus the activities, processes, and tasks to innovate them or research the new ones.

Know the market well before conducting prior art search

The main objective is to get the invention patented with broadest possible claims. Prior art search collects existing knowledge in the fields that belong to the invention. But, this is not enough. One should know the market and companies that are already working on the technologies the invention is based, which will help in choosing the right areas for R & D.

Patent filing is a broad process, and a little wrong move can convert into a big mistake. Thus, from planning to execution, every step should be put wisely. Before going for prior art search, it is important to know the markets in which the invention can bring revolution in, current market trends to focus on, activities of competitors, etc. All these details can be obtained through market research. Thus, it is recommended to conduct a market research first to know the technologies trending in the market.

Why market research?

Market research can help in proper utilization of all the elements of an invention. It provides comprehensive analysis of different markets associated with the invention, patent environment, and existing and future products. Thus, market research can add value to the research and development operations, making them more advanced.

There are many reasons why the inventor should consider market research before starting R & D operations and prior art search. Please have a look at them –

Detailed information about the markets:

Market research reports not only provide information about different markets that belong to the area of invention, but also tell the top active markets. Suppose, an invention can be used in manufacturing products in 10 different industries, out of which 7 are in the growing phase. Thus, there is need to spend extra time and money to obtain patents in these 7 industries to get maximum ROI. Thus, market research reports can suggest you the right industries to continue research and build products.

Competitor analysis:

To emerge as a leading player in the market, it is necessary to know the activities of competitors. With market research reports, the inventor can get in-depth understanding of his/her competitors, technologies they are working on, and their existing and upcoming products and services. Thus, the R & D department can broaden their research to the areas untouched by the competitors.

Helps in patent drafting:

Patent drafter is the person who can help you get a patent with great claims. With extensive knowledge of market trends, active industries, and customer needs, he can write broadest patent claims possible. Thus, with market research reports, your patent drafter can prepare a clear, accurate patent application, and your get a patent, which will have great market value, and you can earn a lot from it.

Top players:

Market research reports provide information about the top companies using the technologies similar to that of the invention. This makes easy to know how advanced the invention is, the technologies that can be innovated, and how to plan R & D processes. After obtaining the patent with significant claims, the inventor can contact the top companies for business partnerships or licensing.

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Market Research Explained

There isn’t a consistent definition or common understanding of the term market research. However, it is used by many businesses in their marketing mix. It is normally understood as the activity where a company compiles information and then researches the markets for specific product or service acceptability. It can be done online or offline and also can include multiple types of research about people and organizations using different methods and techniques to help gain insight into the market.

Definition

As stated above, there are many different definitions of the term market research and the differences can results in a business understanding and using only one aspect of this instead of the large field and limiting its methods. Below are some of its more common definitions.

As per Wikipedia:

Marketing research is “the function that links the consumers, customers, and public to the marketer through information-information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process. Marketing research specifies the information required to address these issues, designs the method for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection process, analyzes the results, and communicates the findings and their implications.”

As per the American Marketing Association:

“Marketing research is the function that links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information–information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process. Marketing research specifies the information required to address these issues, designs the method for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection the data collection process, analyzes the results, and communicates the findings and their implications.”

As per BusinessDirectory.com:

Market Research: “identification of a specific market and measurement of its size and other characteristics.”

As per MarketResearchWorld.net:

“Market Research is a systematic, objective collection and analysis of data about a particular target market, competition, and/or environment. It always incorporates some form of data collection whether it is secondary research (often referred to as desk research) or primary research which is collected direct from a respondent.”

The purpose of any research project is to achieve an increased understanding of the market. With businesses throughout the world becoming increasingly competitive, market research is now on the agenda of many organizations — large and small.”

Common threads in every definition:

No matter the definition that you choose to use, there can be found a few common thoughts in the different definitions:

• It is about the information that is gathered with a specific objective in mind
• It is about studying the market without influencing it
• The customer is the center of the research
• There are no assumptions made, however information is gathered to help data-driven decision making
• There is no definition of the channel of research and is free of the tools and techniques that are used to conduct it

The Steps involved

When done in a scientific and structured way, that is unbiased and is without assumptions, market research can provide many different benefits to an organization. In order for it to have meaning, research should encompass the following steps:

• Collect and analyze data on the market
• Identify and prioritize markets
• Quantify and communicate goals and results to stakeholders
• Measure and track customer relationships

Importance

Market research can be very important to several different aspects of a business. Research that is done right can help a business develop products and services that the target market needs; develop marketing plans based on the information that is gathered in order to reach all potential customers in the most effective way. Market research that is well executed can provide useful information that can help a business have an advantage over the competitors and ensure customer happiness.

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