In today’s high-speed, global economy, the ability to acquire up-to-the-minute intelligence is often paramount to an organization’s success. Early identification of risks and opportunities allows organizations to make smart, sustainable decisions, gaining an edge over their less well-informed competitors. Because such competitive analysis often depends exclusively on current trends, common wisdom now concludes that January’s data will reach obsolescence in mid-June.Although certainly pertinent to many areas of competitive intelligence, this common wisdom does not accurately describe the long-term value of patent filing data, especially in areas of emerging technology. Even when published eighteen months after their filing dates, emerging technology patents offer contemporary—if not predictive—intelligence on competitors’ goals, including R&D priorities, product development efforts, and overall business objectives.
The reason for this is simple. New technologies usually require significant investments of time and capital, in order to become commercially viable. Even in the absence of major technical or financial issues, transforming a working prototype into a marketable product can take years. Funds must be raised or allocated, manufacturing facilities must be contracted or acquired, scale-up operations must be engineered and fine-tuned, and management teams must be assembled, to oversee various elements of the product development cycle.
In fact, these “old” patent records provide a wealth of highly relevant competitive intelligence, as R&D spending from eighteen months ago correlates predictively with near-term developments, from new product releases to overall market trends.
Click here to read the full white paper – Patent Publication Delays & Product Development Cycles: How Patent Data from 2010 Remains Relevant in 2012