How AI Can Improve Patent Search & Monitoring

How AI can improve patent search and monitoring banner

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has fast become an integral part of our daily lives. Years ago, only humans could perform basic tasks like playing chess or sorting data.

But now, with the entry of AI technology into modern markets, these tasks are easily outsourced, saving valuable time. Researchers are applying more pressure on AI technology to revolutionize how we carry out complex processes.

One of these is patent search and monitoring, a step necessary to protect your business’s intellectual property from theft. Before we draw a connection between AI and patent search, let us first explain these concepts.

What is AI? A Brief History

AI is a technological invention that mimics human intelligence and carries out tasks that only humans would ordinarily do. The world first heard of this technology in 1956, at the Dartmouth research project on Artificial Intelligence

AI has many known components, like machine learning, speech recognition, and natural language processing. Some programming languages synonymous with AI technology are Java, Python, and R. 

In business circles, AI systems gather complex data and analyze them for patterns and similarities. Then, it uses these patterns to make future predictions.

For example, a chatbot that is fed sample chat texts will process the patterns and reproduce similar human-like texts. This technology is how image recognition tools can review thousands of samples and use that knowledge to identify objects hidden in images.

The significance of AI technology is that it performs operations more seamlessly than humans. For example, when it comes to repetitive tasks that require much attention to detail, humans can get distracted and make an error. 

On the other hand, AI  has only one focus, to carry out the tasks in record time, with minimal errors. This has, over time, improved the way businesses operate. 

The popular ride-hailing app, Uber, uses machine learning technology to predict when passengers need a ride and connect them to available drivers. Google is another company that uses AI to understudy how consumers use their products and then improve on them.

AI has made its way into various markets like healthcare, business, education, law, finance, and manufacturing. For example, chatbots are a recurring feature in customer satisfaction in the banking sector. 

Banks now employ AI-powered chatbots to inform customers of their services and offer them self-service options. In manufacturing, it has become a recent innovation. 

In the past, industrial robots were programmed to carry out single functions, separate from human workers. Now, a slow merger is taking over the manufacturing industry, allowing robots to collaborate with human workers and take on more responsibilities in warehouses and factory floors. 

AI also helps automate labor-intensive tasks in the legal field. For example, manually going through documents to find important information or loopholes is overwhelming, even for the best lawyers. With AI, they can save valuable time and improve their service.

These days, law firms use AI technology (machine learning) to predict outcomes and extract important information from a pile of documents.

Image showing the significance of artificial intelligence

What is Patent Search and Monitoring?

A patent search is a dedicated one time process to identify already published patent documents that are relevant to the purpose of your patent search. If you want to identify whether your own invention is new to potentially file an own patent application, then you are searching for patents that disclose the same inventive solution. But if you e.g. want to launch a new product and want to make sure to not infringe on any patent document, you are mainly searching for patents that provide a certain legal coverage. 

Besides the one-time activity of making a patent search, there is the continuous  Monitoring process that scans all newly published patent documents once a week to identify potentially relevant new patent documents. In this way you can stay up to date in regards to your competitors, your technical field and many more things. 

Below, we consider the types of patent monitoring: 

1. Technology Watch 

This monitoring process focuses on identifying patent documents of a specific technology that the searcher is interested in. Technology watch makes it easy to know when a technology trend matures in the industry. Through this, industry stakeholders can identify new players in their field and distinguish which may pose significant competition.  

2. Competitor Watch

Through this monitoring process, companies focus on their competitors’ activities. They can see their competitors’ recent patent publications and use the information to switch up their business strategies.

Why is Patent Search and Monitoring Important?

A patent search represents a company’s critical first step before delving into a new field.  

The monitoring results give the company regular updates on alterations and potential infringement risks in the industry or e.g. latest technology trends. Overall, it helps a company save money from avoidable errors.

Now, let us consider some benefits that make patent search and monitoring important. 

1. It Helps Companies Forecast Market Strategies

The primary aim of patent search and monitoring is to understand the competitor’s market strategy. For example, it helps them to determine what about their product makes them leaders in a specific field. 

Understanding this will help a company look inwards and revise its strategy. Using this knowledge, they can examine their structure and build it to a level that matches the competition.

2. Spotting Patented Technology Infringement

Via patent searches or monitorings a company can determine if its product potentially infringe on 3rd party patents. This knowledge will protect a company from paying unprecedented expenses to settle an infringement case.  

It further gives them time to switch their innovation to something that will not hurt another patent. 

3. Determining New & Viable Investment Areas

Suppose a company conducts a patent search and discovers that its innovation is a new entrant in the industry. This implies that the competition has secured sufficient market ground, making it difficult for new entrants to penetrate the same market.

In that case, the company can redirect its search to new, growing areas of technology. Patent search and monitoring can help spot these areas that can potentially improve investment results.

If a company dives head-on into an industry with stiff competition, it may record great losses.

4. Identifying Growing Areas in an Industry

The reason for monitoring the patent activities may be to track the competitor’s progress. Studying a competitor’s growth and development areas is a good business strategy. 

This can help a company to develop innovation in a new area of technology that has not been discovered. They can further develop existing processes to incorporate evolving market changes.

Choosing to focus on a new area benefits startups more than existing organizations. It reduces the competition and makes it easier to distinguish themselves from new customers than trying to break into competitor-dominated markets.

Other benefits of patent search and monitoring are:

  • It provides knowledge that comes in handy for potential mergers and acquisitions
  • Patent search and monitoring help companies to know when a specific patent application can be opposed. This comes in handy when they have valid grounds to challenge the other company’s patent application.
image showing patent search and monitoring on a computer screen

How AI Can Make Patent Search and Monitoring Easier 

The number of patents filed yearly is increasing, making it hard for many companies to keep up. A standard technological company has to analyze between 100 to 500 documents weekly to stay updated on their competitors’ patenting activities. 

Traditional search methods involve creating a boolean search to identify relevant patent documents. The same is valid for the weekly monitoring process, where a defined search is automatically executed every week to scan through the newly published patent documents.. 

However, in light of the increased amount of patent filings, it has become more difficult to review and analyse all the patent documents that are captured by the patent search or monitoring process, in order to identify the important patents.. 

This is where AI technology comes in to aid. It can quickly scan through the captured data set of the patent search or monitoring and with the same speed, extract and identify the subset of patent documents which is really of relevance.  

AI helps save time and cost while providing quality and accurate data. The AI performs always at its best it is never impacted by stress, less sleep or mood changes. AI , additionally,makes sure to always scan and analyse the whole patent document, before making any conclusions and does not take any raush decisions. 

This gives the person conducting the patent search and/or monitoring a good head start. Certain AI algorithms can help streamline data according to their relevance.


With the rapid growth of patent filings, people are looking for the best AI solutions that are is able to quickly identify patent documents which are relevant for the designated person and business from larger data sets. In this way, it is possible to spend the intellectual reviewing time on the relevant patents that were identified by the AI tool and not on sorting out patent documents which are’t relevant. Patent search and monitoring tools and software like IamIP can help companies to quickly identify and gather useful information that they can use to verify patent activity in a particular sector.  

With tools like these, companies no longer have to manually crawl through large results lists of patent documents to identify relevant patent documents in order to ensure risk mitigation by avoiding patent infringements. Try these patent search and monitoring tools to upgrade your business strategies. 

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