Smart, Simple Solutions with Many Applications
Novatech International NV is a brand manufacturer of adhesives, sealants and surface treatment offering solutions that enable technical professionals to perform their job in a better, faster, safer, and easier way. Since 1978 they have been specializing in the challenges faced in construction, industry, and transportation. Their brand portfolio includes, Novatio, Tec7, Bike7, and Green7. Notably, TEC7 is a single polymer adhesive & sealant which replaced multiple sealants and adhesives, with just one product. It created the most important growth for Novatech and opened the way to other solutions according to the same vision: smart, simple solutions with many applications. Meanwhile, TEC7 is still the leader in their home market in terms of assembly and sealants for the construction market after 25 years.
Maximizing Innovation Efficiencies
Gunther Dreezen, Innovation Director at Novatech, has over 20 years working in R&D developing formulated adhesives, sealants, inks and coating technologies for different industries and applications. He says, “having data surrounding technology and competitive intelligence is very important in our innovation processes, and we use this information to maximize our innovation efficiency.”
A key part of the Novatech innovation team’s role is keeping pace with the innovation activity of their competitors as well as major raw material suppliers in the market and trending technologies. Innovation insights play a critical role with the Novatech R&D team enabling them to understand market trends and generate innovative ideas for products, as well as guidance on existing and novel approaches.
Creation and Expansion of IP
In an industry that depends strongly on different certification processes, and further is densely packed with literature and patent data, it is important the Novatech team has access to accurate global data. Prior to using PatSnap, the Novatech innovation team had used other patent intelligence platforms and open-source software but found that “the data difficult to manage and non-user-friendly, making patent searching much more complicated.”
To address these challenges, Novatech turned to PatSnap. With PatSnap, “we are sure we have the best professional innovation tool and support available.” This has helped the Novatech team with the creation and expansion of the IP in their business, which is strategically very important. The goal for Novatech is to “increase innovation efficiency and idea creation, while ensuring FTO, through actionable insights.”
One of the main ways Novatech uses PatSnap is to assess freedom to operate (FTO) before commercializing new products, and supporting their R&D team to allow them to answer questions such as:
- What are our competitors working on?
- What has already been done in this space based on patent literature?
- What can we do to simplify or improve a product?
According to Dreezen, when compared with other tools out there, “PatSnap is much easier to use, more complete, and increases innovation efficiencies.” This has allowed Novatech to bring their IP work in-house, further allowing their R&D team to be well-prepared before contacting external patent attorneys, saving them time and money.
Making Patent Searching Easy
Since Novatech transitioned to using PatSnap, the Novatech innovation team can act faster and with more confidence when it comes to their R&D and IP initiatives. Some of the key features helping them are:
- The intuitive interface. PatSnap’s interface makes patent searching extremely easy, “to get the basics you really don’t need any training – anyone can jump right in and figure out how to use it.”
- Having non-native language patents translated into English is especially useful, “it gives us a good feel of what the patents are saying, helping us better understand what is being patented in other countries.”
- Professional services. Utilizing PatSnap’s professional services for an FTO report “was very thorough, they took the time to understand what we needed and provided us with the quality analysis we needed, without having to dedicate the man hours.”
When asked, Dreezen states overall the support from the PatSnap team has been most impressive. “The customer support is excellent, they truly take the time to understand what we do and need, ensuring we get the most value out of the tool.” What stands out is the people at PatSnap, “you don’t often find this with other services, you can really tell there are people behind Patsnap.”