The Importance of Email Alerts
The value of knowledge sharing can never be underestimated. It would not be too strong to say that some of the key discoveries and inventions that have taken place in human history have been down to a collaborative effort from multiple different individuals. As patents are associated with both of these concepts, it is natural for the discussion of them (whether that be regarding what is already out there or what could be there in the future) to be between a whole team of people. This collaboration is crucial to make sure multiple voices are heard when making the big decisions.
As PatSnap has one of the biggest patent databases around, it would make sense to utilize it when making these types of decisions. There are multiple ways of achieving this using the platform, however, one of the best methods to attaining this goal is by making use of our Email Alerts. This is a strong way of being able to share the knowledge you have obtained while using PatSnap with your colleagues or even your clients and it does not matter whether or not they are PatSnap users since these Email Alerts can be sent to anyone.
Email Alerts are a great way to keep up to date with changes within company portfolios or technology areas, depending on what you are interested in. As these can be created from either the search results page or a Workspace folder, there is no shortage of places where you can set up an Email Alert from. There are also various different types of Email Alerts that are available, so you can become aware of multiple different types of updates for your list of patents.
In this paper, we will go through the various different details on Email Alerts. Along with this, we will describe how to best make use of Email Alerts.
Locations of Email Alerts
Search Results Page
When you have created the perfect search query and have got the desired results, it is helpful to then create an Email Alert to alert your colleagues of any changes that relate to these results. You can create an Email Alert from the search results page, by clicking on the option of "Set Alerts":
Once you have done this, you will then be able to edit the Email Alert:
Here you are able to give a title to your email alert, select which types of email alert you wish to receive, choose who to send it to, how frequently they are sent and what day they are sent. You can also be alerted when there are no updates, which means you will know if your competitor or that technology field is currently active or not.
The best place to create an Email Alert is from a Workspace folder as Workspaces allow you to manage your work, capture important patents and create your own notes regarding a particular competitor or technology space. If you create an Email Alert from this area, you will be able to alert your colleagues of various changes that occur in regards to your selected subject area in the Workspace. You can create an Email Alert from a Workspace, by clicking on the option of "Email Alert":
Once you have done this, you will then be able to edit the Email Alert:
The options that you have from a Workspace based Email Alert are almost identical to the ones that you have from a search results based Email Alert except you have an additional type of Email Alert that you can utilize.
Types of Email Alert
From both the search results page and a Workspace folder, you are able to setup multiple different types of Email Alerts which will alert you on various different points regarding the areas covered by them. The types of email alert you can setup are as follows:
You will be alerted when a new patent has been published that relates to your original search query or search query you have used for the Automatic Update for this particular Workspace folder. This is useful information to have because it will let you know either what direction your competitors are going in terms of innovation or how your technology field of interest is changing. You can then make future plans based on what you find out. This is the only alert type available when you have more than 20,000 results.
You will be alerted when a new patent that does not belong to an existing family is published that relates to your original search query or search query you have used for the Automatic Update for this particular Workspace. This is useful information to have because it not only shows what direction your competitors are going in terms of innovation or how your technology field of interest is changing but will also inform you that this innovation/these changes is/are fresh and is not just a slight variation/improvement on what is already out there. You can put even more dynamic planning in place by using this Email Alert then by just using the "New patent" Email Alert.
You will be alerted when there is a change in legal status of one of the patents in your search results list or folder. This is useful information to have because it means you will be able to quickly determine what has happened to your competitors' patents, e.g. if one of their patents has suddenly been granted then you will no longer have freedom-to-operate using ideas that have been claimed for in that patent, alternatively, if one of their patents has become invalid or has been withdrawn, you will then have freedom-to-operate using ideas that have been claimed for in that patent. This is also useful information to have because it will allow you to make decisions based on what is occurring in your technology field of interest, e.g. if a number of patents have been granted within that technology space, it might be worth moving away to a different technology area as your freedom-to-operate opportunities will have lessened, however, if a number of patents have become invalid, the technology field will become more fertile with many more possibilities available to you.
You will be alerted when another application for the technology claimed in one of the patents in your search results list or in your folder is filed elsewhere. This is useful information to have because it means that you will know if a particular patent is considered important to your competitor since they have put in extra investment to get it filed in multiple locations, which means you have a strong idea of which technologies they are focused on and where there are potential white space opportunities. If you see multiple different patents where this is the case within a technology field, it will be a clear indicator of where the open and closed spaces within that technology area are.
You will be alerted when one of the patents in your search results list or folder gets cited by another patent. This is useful information to have because it means that one of your competitor's patents is considered important by others which means you can get an idea of what particular technologies have a strong chance of being successful in your field and where would be a worthy investment for you to have your own patents in terms of the technologies incorporated within them. This is also useful information to have since if a number of patents within a specific technology field get cited then you will have a good idea that this is an active area and somewhere where you could potentially make money if you try to operate within it.
You will be alerted when one of the patents in your search results list or folder becomes no longer active and expires. This is useful information to have because you will know immediately when there is a freedom-to-operate opportunity available to you due to this expiration. In this case, it does not matter whether it's a specific competitor's patent that has expired or a patent from your technology field of interest since you will still gain this opportunity.
You will be alerted when one of the patents in your search results list or folder becomes involved in a litigation case, where we currently have this information for Chinese/American/Japanese/British patents. This is useful information to have because you will know your competitors are facing legal issues and will allow you to see if there is a freedom-to-operate opportunity approaching with the future possibility of their patent being revoked. This is also useful information to have because if there are numerous litigation cases going on within your technology field of interest, then you should take extra care if you plan to work within it or steer clear of it altogether.
You will be alerted when one of the patents in your search results list or folder gets a licensing deal with another company. This is useful information to have because it means you will know who your competitor is working with and from the research of this other company, you will get an idea of what technologies your competitor is looking to focus on and what areas there will be less value for you to work in yourself because of this development. This is also useful information to have because if there are numerous licensing deals going on within your technology field of interest you will then be able to track who are regularly working together and will be able to create a whole map of company collaborations.
You will be alerted when your colleague has added a comment about one of the patents in your folder (this Email Alert option is only available from a Workspace folder) where this only applies if you are sharing the folder with another PatSnap user. This is useful information to have because it means you will know the opinions of your colleagues on various patents and see whether it would help to discuss these issues further with them and together develop a future plan for the innovation strategy for your company. By making use of comments, you are able to convey a multitude of different information points regarding a set of patents which can be for any number of different reasons, e.g. competitor tracking or technology scoping.
There are three key points to consider when using Email Alerts to increase knowledge sharing:
- Select who exactly are the right people to share the Email Alerts with
- Choose the location of the email alert which will give you the most benefit.
- Choose the types of email alert which will give you the information that you require.
It does not matter whether or not you are working in R&D, IP or other business units, it is still important to share your knowledge when it comes to discussing IP related issues. Email Alerts gives you the support to do this as it will enable you to become swiftly aware of numerous different issues which you can both quickly respond to and make key decisions based off.