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DeLaval is a worldwide leader in milking equipment and solutions for dairy farmers, which make sustainable food production possible, warranting milk quality and animal health. Their solutions are used by millions of dairy farmers around the globe every day. DeLaval was founded in 1883 Sweden, when Gustaf de Laval patented the cream separator. Today, DeLaval has 4500 employees and operates in more than 100 markets. DeLaval, alongside Tetra Pak and Sidel, is part of the Tetra Laval Group.
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Creative invalidity search

How DeLaval use IPRally to find prior art that conventional methods miss

Finding prior art that the patent examiners have missed can be challenging. Oskar Christensen, Patent engineer at the milking equipment company DeLaval, turns to IPRally for a different search angle.
Key highlights
IPRally finds hidden prior art that conventional methods miss
Technical expertise becomes less critical with IPRally's built-in technical understanding
Reduced noise and fast review of the search results thanks to AI highlighting
The graph AI brings good control to the search process

A new tool for new technologies

DeLaval has been in the milking equipment industry for almost 140 years and is one of the leading innovators in its category. Dairy technologies have constantly developed over the years, and sensors, algorithms and internet of things are now a natural part of the once purely mechanical field. In short, the competitive landscape has broadened vastly. When Oskar Christensen started working as a patent engineer at DeLaval, he knew that it was impossible to be an expert in all these technology fields. But since his previous role as a patent examiner, he was familiar with IPRally, and knew it made technical expertise less critical in the search process.

“Out of all the AI solutions I tested at the PTO, I thought IPRally worked the best. So when I joined DeLaval, I wanted to get us started with IPRally. I knew its strengths and I knew that it would be very quick to learn for my new colleagues – you can basically just start searching.”

A different search angle

Oskar uses IPRally primarily for invalidity searches. A big challenge, he says, is searching in technical fields you are not familiar with. Finding documents that the patent examiners might have missed, for example when working on an opposition case, is also tricky. But with IPRally's built-in technical understanding and natural language processing, a new layer of hidden prior art opens up.

“Trying to beat a patent examiner is a huge challenge. They are skilled professionals who are experts in their technical fields. It's very unlikely that you will find something they have missed if you use the same methods, classes and boolean operators that they have used. So your best bet is to try a different angle. It can be searching for documents that are misclassified, poorly translated or that use an odd terminology, and IPRally is great at finding this kind of hidden prior art.”

Oskar Christensen
Patent engineer
"IPRally is great at finding hidden prior art, like documents that are misclassified, poorly translated or use an odd terminology"

Less noise, easier review

Another challenge that Oskar mentions is the constantly growing body of patent data. IPRally, he says, often provides a good start with less noise.

"If you get 5000 documents in the results, you don't even want to start looking at them. But with IPRally there's less noise. And with the automatic highlighting, you can quickly see what's interesting and what's not. I almost always start my searches in IPRally, especially if I don't know where to start. I might use our conventional search platform later on if I need to dig deeper, but many times a quick search in IPRally is sufficient."

According to Oskar, IPRally brings both speed and clarity to the review process.

"You see how the AI works and why the hits were found, and you can nudge it by modifying the graph. So it makes you feel more in control than with other tools. The most relevant documents often come at the top picks in the search results. So if I limit myself to 50 documents or something like that, I am pretty confident that it's a good search", says Oskar Christensen.

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