Thomas Freitag is an IP business partner at Melexis, a global supplier of microelectronic semiconductor solutions. As a part of the Melexis IP team, he works together with R&D and the business unit and is responsible for the intellectual property related to several product lines. He primarily uses IPRally in two stages of Melexi's IP processes – to carry out patentability studies and to provide the external law firms with relevant prior art in the drafting process.
“When we get an invention disclosure from our development team, the overall question is: is this patentable or not? Our claim language can be pasted directly into IPRally to find the relevant prior art to answer that question", says Thomas Freitag.
If Thomas and his team decide to file a patent application, they engage an outside law firm to draft the patent application. The law firm's preliminary claim set is then run through IPRally to compare the new results with the previously found prior art documents. If additional prior art is found, it is shared with the external attorney.
With traditional search methods, the boolean way with keywords and classifications, Melexis invested on average a day and a half per search.
"That's what we had budgeted for, says Thomas Freitag. "But with the help of IPRally we can reduce that to three hours per search case. So that's really a big help. The graph AI also catches patents with IPC/CPC classes that would rarely have been found with classic search methods, at least not without a lot of effort.
"We see very good search results with IPRally. Melexis is usually filing the priority in Europe and after eight months we get the search report with the prior art that the examiner has found. I can only speak for our technical field, but we see 30-50% of the prior art we found with IPRally showing up again in these search reports."
"The quality of search results gives us the opportunity to write claims around the prior art in an early phase. This is of course very valuable", says Thomas Freitag.
"IPRally also offers the ability to share what we are working on with the law firms. When you look at the overall performance, we lose approximately 10% of filed inventions because of prior art, i.e. novelty or inventive step. And we spend three hours per search compared to a day and a half. To put it shortly, IPRally brings us value."
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