Landscaping is the mapping of the patent activities in a particular market or in a particular field. It is thus possible for instance to form a picture of how many patent applications are being filed by competitors and/or the techniques to which the patent applications newly filed by other parties relate. It is thus possible for instance to identify technical trends, possibly even before they show up in the marketplace. It is also possible to identify new parties at an early stage. Here too however there is always a delay of 18 months in the picture that emerges, since patent applications are not accessible in the first 18 months after filing.