With over 500,000 new patent applications every month, companies have their work cut out for them when it comes to keeping track of new technologies and their competition – and patent disputes between companies can put entire industries in gridlock.
Berlin-based startup IPlytics attempts to solve this problem with its market intelligence platform, which maps multiple data sources to allow companies to search and analyse technology, their competition, market landscapes, and patents.
Founded in 2014, the startup has just raised several million euros in a financing round led by German investors eCAPITAL and Hightech-Gründerfonds (HTGF).
The capital will be used for the further technical development of the software as well as the expansion of sales into international markets, in particular in the USA, Korea, and Japan.
“Patents have developed to be a company’s most valuable asset and will in most cases determine the success of any business in the long term,” said IPlytics founder and CEO Tim Pohlmann.
It’s important for companies in every industry to be informed at an early stage about relevant or even dangerous patents. Not just to monitor competition, but also to understand who is investing in the next technology trend that will change or even disrupt future markets. While most patent information is freely available online, it has become impossible to systematically analyse and understand more than 500,000 new patent applications every month, over 400,000 new research articles, or over 40,000 newly founded startups.
“We do not want to replace the patent attorney, but intelligently support the often manual analysis,” continued Pohlmann. “Our customers have domain knowledge and understand the content of a patent, but the number of patent applications has become too large to read everything. The learning algorithm of the IPlytics Platform uses users’ input to evaluate patents, cluster them, and link them to other documents such as research articles, technology standards or company profiles.”
Increased connectivity will result in more and more patented solutions being used in smartphones, computers, cars, machines, meters or even medical devices, as strategically placed patents can block entire industries. And recent patent disputes such as Broadcom’s billion-dollar lawsuit against Volkswagen demonstrate the sums involved.
“With its agnostic analysis approach, IPlytics has been able to link patent data to a variety of other data sources and automatically generate valuable new insights,” said Hannes Schill, Partner at eCAPITAL. “In particular, for so-called standard essential patents, which serve as the basis for new standards such as e.g. 5G or WiFi, IPlytics has become the most used software in the market.”
IPlytics has already attracted well-known customers including Volkswagen, Audi, Daimler, Intel, Qualcomm, Microsoft, Panasonic, Canon, LG, and Huawei.
By the way: If you’re interested to join a fast-growing startup like IPlytics, make sure to check out the EU-Startups Job Board.