A comprehensive analysis on the research area of patents and its scientific literature is termed as patent landscape analytics or patent mapping. It depicts the white space in the research area, latest IP trends, technology rise and decay, potential areas of improvements, etc. It involves a multi-step process using both the computer software knowledge and human intelligence to study, analyze, organize, and get the desired value from this information. This information in turn helps large corporations, research institutions, startups, investors, and universities to learn, understand and make conversant decisions, before investing time, efforts, and money into new technological development areas.
A skilled and experienced person, who holds great knowledge about the principles of intellectual asset management, is capable enough to provide the client with sensibly relevant research information. Involving the members from marketing, R&D, legal and business development teams, enhances the quality and efficiency of the patent landscape analysis.
Steps of Patent Landscape Analytics(Click here)
The following steps must be performed while performing patent landscape analysis:
- Step 1- Judgement: Before getting into details for accumulating information about the technology, one must understand the purpose of the analysis, to clearly get to know about the reason (competitive intelligence, idea generation, ‘white space’ analysis, and patent filing strategy/ patentability) and the expected scope (risk management, M&A and monetization) for the analysis.
- Step 2- Identification: After knowing the purpose of the analysis, the patent search, analytic software, or the third party services, that are to be used within the project, are identified.
- Step 3- Agreement: In this step, the landscape analysis team discusses on what and what not to consider as technological area (product terms and multiple technology alternatives) of focus.
- Step 4- Decision: In this step, the patent analysis team decides how deep search is required, which countries to involve in the search, inclusion of abandoned patents, equivalent patents, or family members are necessary or not.
- Step 5- Search: In this step, a preliminary search is conducted by a team of skilled and experienced technical experts to identify a set of patent class codes, relevant keywords, and organizations working in the technical area. See the different types of search one should conduct.
- Step 6- Generation: In this step, an initial training set of documents are generated, to know about the advanced technology, product and/or application areas that classifies the information about the patent.
- Step 7- Usage: In this step, patent class codes, keywords, citation mapping and/or semantic search strategies are used to get a list of patents that matches with the technology, product, or application sub area.
- Step 8- Review: The patents are then sorted and reviewed (through automation using keywords, or manually through abstracts, titles or claims) for each application sub category. Both the methodologies such as, manual or automated have its own pros and cons. The automated one is much faster, yet less accurate. Whereas, the manual one is a bit slow, much more accurate and provides extra benefits of adding comments, meta-data, or value rankings to each result.
Advantages of Patent Landscape Analytics
Patent landscape analysis provides a brilliant stage to build inter-departmental relationship and builds a unified environment by encouraging people from different work fields to express their views on business issues. It provides benefits to the following people:
- Scientists and researchers: It keeps the scientists and the researcher updated about the current technology and helps them to acquire details about the design, functionalities, possible improvements that can be made on that technology.
- Business development team: It helps in judging the main owners of any specific technology to know about the potential merger/acquisition partners, suppliers, in/out licensing opportunities, competitors, or customers. Business development teams gets all these information to decide whether the development be done in-house or not. It tracks the global activities of competitors and highlights their strategies & strengths.
- Marketing team: It helps the marketing, commercial strategy, and competitive intelligence teams to acquire knowledge about the competing technologies and companies that are brought up for their name or advancement in terms of technology, to plan their and their company’s working standards to take achieve that position in the market. Having an idea about the market trends makes these teams aware about whether their technology is doing a promising work in the market or not.
- Legal team: It helps the legal team to know about the following facts:
- To understand the relationship between competitive products and patent protected competitors
- To analyze areas that can be banned for possible product or process innovations due to presence of a number of patent references or use of extensive patent claim language
- To save money, time, and efforts by performing this analysis in an early stage
- To analyze new R&D opportunities by searching for lags in technology
- To analyze the about be get expired patents and maintaining the ones which are already expired.
- High-level strategists: and investors gain insight into the opportunities and risks that exist in light of competitive R&D and product development initiatives, new “areas” for acquisition or investment, and how to develop and maintain a sustainable growth strategy.
- Human resource team: can identify and hire the leading innovators (inventors) in a technology.
Data is analyzed once the information is collected into relevant categories, in a way some of the examples listed below:
- Use of patent filing velocity charts: These charts helps the landscape analysis team to picturize changes in technology, application, or product with due course of time, which in turn helps in deciding the expected time when the technology might prosper.
- Use of top assignee tables: It helps in analyzing the most focused and the most targeted companies or organizations that might create a tough competition in the market, as well as in identifying potential partners, licensees, acquisition candidates, customers, or organizations.
- Use of hybrid approach: Using a hybrid approach that consists of using both patent filing velocity charts and top assignee tables at the same time provides the maximum benefit as to analyze the market trends and the potential partners as well as competitors.
- Use of scrutiny for claims: This helps in legal analysis concerned with the validity and patentability of licensing.
- Use in R&D: It is used by the teams to perform the research for lags, advancement in technology, and market opportunities.