Reverse engineering (RE) helps determine whether or not the patented inventions are being used in the industry by a particular company. A product is purchased and disassembled in order to understand how it was built, how it works and what it is made of. The RE process usually involves multiple types of analysis. Which type of RE to apply is determined by the type of technology and the industry the patented invention is being used in.
Reverse engineering includes:
Circuit analysis, which identifies how devices work — delayer to the transistor level, then extract interconnections and components to create schematics and netlists;
Process analysis, which identifies how devices are built and what they are made of - analysis of patented semiconductor, optical and MEM processes, packaging and/or layout features; and
System analysis, which identifies how devices are used together — may include analysis of signals and software inside or between chips using sniffers, probing, data capture or literature.
Systems RE is prominent in finding evidence of patent infringement in the communications/networking, computing, consumer electronics and wireless sectors. Patent infringement in these industries, which are largely standards driven, has historically been identified based on literature. With technology convergence, multiple suppliers and increased competition, finding patent infringement for standards-based products is evolving from standards-based documentation to more complex RE techniques