Leveraging IP intelligence to drive automotive innovation
LSP is a Munich-based developer of automotive systems with a rich history of innovation, beginning with the company’s co-founder, Heinz Leiber. Heinz is the inventor of the revolutionary anti-lock braking system (ABS), and together with his son, Thomas Leiber, established LSP in 1998. Today, LSP is known for developing and implementing core mechatronic innovations, including brake systems, electric valve trains, actuators for dynamic applications, and drive systems for future-oriented mobility.
In addition to using PatSnap’s Analytics solution for LSP’s operations, Leiber also uses it in a second business, IPGATE, which specializes in the licensing of innovative automotive technologies and owns over 200 of its own patents.
PatSnap’s solution is used to perform state-of-the-art searches to ensure the novelty of their development ideas within LSP, whereas within ipgate, it’s used primarily for industry benchmarking. Competitors’ patent filing activities are used as an indicator of early development trends within the industry, which helps Leiber and his team position the value of their current patent portfolio and alerts them to potential infringers as well as new licensing opportunities.
Moving to a holistic view of the patent landscape
With the multiple hats he wears between businesses, Leiber finds himself using PatSnap’s solution daily. Prior to bringing PatSnap on board, he spent his time piecing together research from separate resources to arrive at the conclusions he needed for his business. “I just relied on my own knowledge of the field, free tools like the European Patent Office database, and research reports, but I didn’t have one particular tool,” said Leiber.
After using PatSnap, Leiber said he noticed immediately how much faster the solution was at retrieving the information he needed, and its versatility in providing that information in different languages. “It’s very quick to access information – with one click you get the full patent download,” said Leiber. “It’s much easier to read patent information this way, and this ease was evident from the very beginning. Now I would say I’m addicted to it.”
Using patent intelligence to identify risks and new opportunities
Leiber finds that PatSnap’s solution really shines in helping him understand the market value of his patents. With close to 260 patents, Leiber relies heavily on PatSnap’s patent citation map to ascertain which of his patents are attracting the most citations and therefore, where his focus needs to be for licensing and risk mitigation. “The patent citation map is a fantastic tool for giving you the most relevant information about your patents,” said Leiber, “If your patent has been cited over 400 times, that means something.”
With the core of Leiber’s business focused on the licensing of ideas, he also appreciates the transparency PatSnap’s solution provides in regard to global patent activities and competitor filings, especially as the automotive sector heats up across Asia and Europe. “A lot of companies are not paying for the ideas they are using, so the solution is great at helping us find infringing companies and targeting customers who need our ideas the most and who might be open to something new.”
In pursuit of more strategic patent protections
In one instance of using the citation map, Leiber was able to identify a relevant patent based on its number of citations and use that information to the company’s benefit. “In finding this information, we were encouraged to build a fence around the patent,” said Leiber. “We turned one patent into five, by focusing on structuring the claims for that patent in a way that we could secure more patents for the innovation.”
As Leiber looks to expand his roster of licensees, PatSnap will play an indispensable role in the success of this work. With PatSnap at his disposal, Leiber is equipped with the intelligence he needs to best position his products to the licensing market and keep a close pulse on the ever-changing value of his patents.