Mapping Intellectual Property (IP) white space for new designs

Problem

A small, lean, innovation-focused manufacturer planned a broad new product rollout in a category crowded with competitors’ IP. Schedule and workforce pressures were forcing them to make choices between investing in design development activities and completing due diligence in reviewing prior art.

Approach

Client staff focused on design and prototype model development while Concurrent PD handled the prior art search. IP reviews included both U.S. patent and commercial art covering six different product concepts. Candidate design approaches were evaluated and new, protectable design white space was defined.

Results

Early identification of a potential patent conflict redirected the design of a key element of the planned rollout and saved tens of thousands of dollars in wasted effort. By allowing design staff to completely focus on rapid concept and model development, over 20 new products were designed and prototyped within four weeks. This allowed the sales staff to make preliminary line presentations to key clients early.