Find out how to use intellectual property data as strategic business intelligence. You can learn about innovations in your field, potential partnerships or competitors, changes in market conditions and more.
What can I find?
The latest innovations in your field
Most inventions are disclosed to the public for the first time when a patent or industrial design application is published. Searching databases lets you learn about current research and innovations long before the innovation enters the marketplace.
Partnerships and new businesses
If you're interested in developing and marketing a particular innovation, you can search patent and industrial design databases to find companies that already own rights in related areas. You may also find information about rights you could buy, license to market, or use to improve your innovations.
Changes in market conditions
Keeping track of patents in your field can help you plan for changing market conditions.
For example, a number of companies have patented technology that makes long-distance surgery possible.
A company that supplies technology or technical support services to hospitals could use this information, found in patent databases, to prepare products or services to meet the new needs of hospitals that adopt this technology.
Risk of infringement
Do you have freedom-to-operate? Searching first, to be sure that you are not stepping on someone else's innovative idea, can save you expensive headaches later.
You can avoid this by searching the applicable search engines to see if someone else already has a patent or industrial design for your innovation.
Do a search in markets you are interested in to avoid unnecessary conflicts with other enterprises.
Potential commercial issues
If there are many patents or industrial designs for a certain type of innovation similar to yours and it is still not in the marketplace, this may be an indicator that it may not be commercially viable if owners did not proceed.
Types of business intelligence (2:44 minutes)
In this video, Grégory Fruchet, Industrial Technology Advisor for the National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), talks about the types of intelligence you can find in patent and trademark databases.
Where to look for business intelligence?
Canadian and international intellectual property (IP) databases are vast sources of business intelligence. Free search tools are also available.
Free monitoring services
How do I search CIPO's databases?
Learn how to use CIPO's intellectual property databases to your advantage with these search tips and examples.
Technical search tips
Booleans, capitalization, wild cards and more. Get tips on the technical aspects of your search.