New service to help SMEs in patent process

7 Dec 2010

A new intellectual property system has been launched in Ireland that has been designed to help SMEs better search and get advice on the patenting process.

IP specialists Patent Nav believe that Virtual IP Officer (VIPOS) has been released at the right time to assist innovators in navigating the IP and patenting process but at considerably reduced costs.

“Fast-moving developments in innovation and technology across European and BRIC nations makes it essential for companies to be aware of trends within a range of technologies and geographical areas.

“VIPOS will help them to do that while keeping costs down. The concept has been tested on a small biotech company in Switzerland and another pharmaceutical company in Germany. It aims to translate walls of information provided by searches into a useful business resource,” said CEO Dr Eddie O‘Gorman.

Strategy focus

IP and patenting helps businesses to identify gaps in the market and focus strategy, as well as protect against those who use IP without permission.

The European Patent Office has estimated that the cost of duplicate research is in the region of €20bn. 

Small-firm focus

“Large-scale companies can employ a dedicated IP manager to navigate the IP process for them and get the most from their patent attorneys. Smaller companies simply cannot afford the costs of directly employing this knowledge and expertise – so the costs of patenting can often deter companies from properly following through on filing a water-tight application. 

“The annual salary of a good IP manager is unaffordable to all but the largest firms. VIPOS can give rapid responses to requests for information and strategic advice to reduce costs,” O’Gorman added.

The online subscription-based system uses all the major IP databases serving world markets, and while patents are filed in a variety of languages, VIPOS will make the translation and present information in English whenever possible.