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Aerosol & Dispensing Systems Patents

How to use patents to gather
Technical and Competitive Intelligence?

Société VIEDOC
2, Rue Hélène Boucher
78280 GUYANCOURT (France)
Tel : +33 (0)1 30 43 45 27

Aerosol & Dispensing Systems - Current Status, PCD & ADF 2015

TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABOUT VIEDOC CONSULTING ........................................................................................................3
INTRODUCTION.............................................................................................................................4
WHY & HOW TO USE PATENTS AS A VALUABLE SOURCE OF INFORMATION? ..................................5
1.1.
1.2.
1.3.

WHY USE PATENT INFORMATION? ..................................................................................................................5
HOW AND WHERE TO FIND VALUABLE PATENT INFORMATION? ............................................................................5
BEFORE STARTING LOOKING INTO PATENTS .......................................................................................................5

REVIEW OF AEROSOL & DISPENSING SYSTEMS PATENTS PUBLISHED IN 2014 ..................................6
2.1.
USING KEYWORDS AND ESPACENET TO COLLECT AND SELECT RELEVANT PATENTS ....................................................6
2.2.
MAKING SENSE OUT THE 87 SELECTED PATENTS ................................................................................................7
2.3.
APPLICANTS PROFILES .......................................................................................... ERREUR ! SIGNET NON DEFINI.
2.3.1.
Devices users........................................................................................... Erreur ! Signet non défini.
2.3.2.
Inventors ................................................................................................. Erreur ! Signet non défini.
2.3.3.
Devices manufacturers ........................................................................... Erreur ! Signet non défini.
2.4.
APPLICANTS COUNTY OF ORIGIN............................................................................ ERREUR ! SIGNET NON DEFINI.
2.5.
PATENTS COVERAGE ............................................................................................ ERREUR ! SIGNET NON DEFINI.
2.6.
OVERVIEW OF SOME PATENTS PUBLISHED IN 2014 ................................................... ERREUR ! SIGNET NON DEFINI.
2.6.1.
Consumer Goods ..................................................................................... Erreur ! Signet non défini.
2.6.2.
Cosmetics ................................................................................................ Erreur ! Signet non défini.
2.6.3.
Food & Beverage .................................................................................... Erreur ! Signet non défini.
2.6.4.
Health & Hygiene .................................................................................... Erreur ! Signet non défini.
CONCLUSION ................................................................................................................................8

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Aerosol & Dispensing Systems - Current Status, PCD & ADF 2015

ABOUT VIEDOC CONSULTING
Founded in 2004, Viedoc is one of France’s leading competitive & technical intelligence
consultancy firms.
With a staff of highly proficient professional consultants serving both public and private
clients with comprehensive strategic, economic & technical analyses, Viedoc provides
companies with:








States of the art;
Patent monitoring;
Competitive & technological intelligence;
Market research;
Technology transfers;
Benchmarking;
Business intelligence;
Knowledge management;
....

Intelligence usually does not require mandatory life‐ long skills within the company but
necessitates getting the right information at the right time. Viedoc works for customers both
on extended and short periods of time and accompanies firms of all size and working in all
sectors in their decision’s making.
Viedoc Consultants have a pragmatic approach built on a rigorous methodology for
collecting, processing, analyzing and delivering high added-value information. Thanks to
their 360° vision, Viedoc Consultants are able to provide companies with services tailored to
their needs and meet their requirements through careful listening.
As recognized experts in the identification of potential technology transfers, Viedoc
consistently builds on a multisectoral vision providing professionalism and expertise to its
Clients, from large industrial groups to SMEs, across a dozen of industrial sectors.

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Aerosol & Dispensing Systems - Current Status, PCD & ADF 2015

INTRODUCTION
Patents are a great source of information for many reasons and we think that companies
should be more aware of this. Patents may seem hard to come around at first glance, but
with (a lot of) patience, with a good methodology and some training most people can find
their way through them.
For the third time in a row this year and thanks to Jean-Pierre Appert, Oriex’ CEO, Viedoc will
be at the PCD & ADF exhibition.
We are also very grateful to Jean-Pierre to have given us the opportunity to take part in one
of the conference sessions this year to present Viedoc Consulting’s approach to gathering
technical & competitive intelligence from patents.
But what lies behind Technical & Competitive Intelligence?
Technical & Competitive Intelligence is a process which gives insights into what might
happen in the near future. This process involves stages from data to information to
intelligence.
Intelligence differs from data and information since it requires some form of analysis. The
purpose of this analysis is to derive some meaning from the gathered data and information.
We need not collect and analyze all information for an exact picture, but get enough
information so that we can conclude what is going on. An outcome of CI is that it puts
conclusions and recommendations upfront.
Fundamental information can be gathered from:
 Information about your industry (such as monitoring trade journals)
 Financial transactions (such as credit ratings)
 Publicly released information (such as regulatory filings by a competitor)
 Non Confidential Information between buyers and sellers to identify who the
competition is.
 Screening Pat & Non Pat Publications of Competitor.
 Press releases, analyst reports, trade journals, transcripts of speeches, and other
published sources of information.
And how Competitive Intelligence differs from Market Research
Market-research teams typically focus on supporting a specific area by identifying market
gaps for their products to fill. Competitive-intelligence teams, on the other hand, use similar
data - along with countless other resources - to predict market changes, preempt
competitor activities, and develop strategic contingency plans. There are large areas of
overlap; market research can also be considered as a subset of competitive intelligence.1

Role of IP in competitive Intelligence gathering and analysis, Dr Shantanu De Ranbaxy
www.wipo.int/edocs/mdocs/sme/en/wipo_ip_del_10/wipo_ip_del_10_theme05_4.ppt
1

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Aerosol & Dispensing Systems - Current Status, PCD & ADF 2015

WHY & HOW TO USE PATENTS AS A VALUABLE SOURCE OF INFORMATION?

1.1.

WHY USE PATENT INFORMATION?

There are three main reasons one may want to look into patent to gather information:
 For their technical content
 to identify some of the latest innovations in or outside your field
 to carry out a state of the art before launching an R&D program
 For business planning & development
 to know what your competitors are up to
 to find out about patents in the public domain
 For protecting the innovations within your own organization (through Intellectual
Property Professionals)

1.2.

HOW AND WHERE TO FIND VALUABLE PATENT INFORMATION?

Patent information is available to everyone, but depending on your needs the tools used to
look into it may not be the same. Basically speaking, there are three main ways of fetching
information form published patents:


Using commercial patent databases
Contracting with consulting companies or intellectual property professionals
Using the free database from the European Patent Office (EPO) available at
http://worldwide.espacenet.com/?locale=en_EP

1.3.

BEFORE STARTING LOOKING INTO PATENTS

Because searching/finding relevant patent information may be very tedious, it is wise and
essential to take time to ask the right questions before starting. Depending on the objective
and the information one is looking for, the questions may be for instance:




What am I looking for?
What are the best key words to use?
Do I need to search on a limited period of time?
Do I need to search worldwide?
How am I going to organize my searches?

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Aerosol & Dispensing Systems - Current Status, PCD & ADF 2015

REVIEW OF AEROSOL & DISPENSING SYSTEMS PATENTS PUBLISHED IN 2014
What are the latest developments and innovations?
Who is leading the market today in terms of patent publications?
In this part, we explain how to carry out a patent survey on a specific topic. Since the
presentation is delivered during the Aerosol & Dispensing Forum, we decided to run searches
on dispensing systems and devices in order to get a picture of what has been happening
during the year 2014 patent wise.

2.1.

USING KEYWORDS AND ESPACENET TO COLLECT AND SELECT RELEVANT PATENTS

We see here that firstly we need to define what we are looking for in order not to get too
many matches that we would be unable to deal with.
Using Espacenet, we run a first search using “« dispensing device » or « dispensing system »”
as keywords in the title and without any specifying the year range.
This lead to 18 997 matches, meaning that the whole Espacenet database possesses that
many patents with dispensing device » or « dispensing system » in their titles.

When we specified that we were looking for patents published in 2014, this number dropped
to 857.

Although this number is far more reasonable for human examination, it was still considered
too large for the ADF presentation, whose aim was to explain how to collect and find
meaningful information in patents. Although looking rapidly through the titles we could spot
too many irrelevant patents.

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Aerosol & Dispensing Systems - Current Status, PCD & ADF 2015
We therefore needed to refine the search and add more keywords in order to get less
patents falling outside our scope of interest. Adding “packaging or container or bottle or
flask or aerosol” keywords lead to 3 808 hits on the whole database, and 140 hits when 2014
was specified.

From the 140 patents selected, only 87 were left after thorough examination and elimination
of irrelevant ones.
As can be seen, the process of collecting and selecting patents may be pretty lengthy
especially if the keywords used have a wide scope, are used in many different fields or have
several meanings.
The keywords combinations used here were pretty simple but one should keep in mind that
Espacenet is a powerful tool that allows more complex searches using Boolean operators.
Another interesting feature of Espacenet is that it allows exporting results in the .xls format
which is handy for further work and filtering.

2.2.

MAKING SENSE OUT THE 87 SELECTED PATENTS

For the sake of this case study on “what has been happening in 2014 on the dispensing
business in terms of patents?” we could ask 3 main questions:
- Who has published patents in 2014?
- From which countries were the applicants from?
- What type of country coverage did these applicants choose?
A competitive intelligence specialist needs to answer these kinds of questions in order to get
a clear picture of their company’s environment. If this is necessary, this is obviously not
enough, and to get a greater insight into what a company’s competitors are up to, a regular
patent watch must be carried out.

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Aerosol & Dispensing Systems - Current Status, PCD & ADF 2015

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Aerosol & Dispensing Systems - Current Status, PCD & ADF 2015

CONCLUSION
Searching and going through patents may be very tedious. However, patents are a valuable
source of information, as patents will provide you with very useful information on:



the market in general
what your competitors are working on
latest innovations and developments in your field
technical solutions from other fields

There are several tools on the market to make statistical analysis on patent publications.
These tools are very useful, and even indispensable, to have a macroscopic view on patent
publications trends for instance. When finer understanding is required, there is no tool (yet) to
replace human in-depth analysis.
For this complementary study we used the generic terms “dispensing device or system”, but
in most cases searches are carried out with much more specific keywords combinations to
meet our clients’ specific needs.

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Aerosol & Dispensing Systems - Current Status, PCD & ADF 2015

2 rue Hélène Boucher
F – 78280 Guyancourt
Website: www.viedoc.fr
Email: info@viedoc.biz
Phone:

+33 (0)1 30 43 45 27

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