Patent Mapping A Process Of Knowledge Extraction
Today Intellectual property is universally recognized as the engine that drives advances in all technology related disciplines. A better understanding of how to develop, utilize and leverage IP is essential for all industries and professionals involved in various fields of technology. A better insight of the patenting activity reveals a more objective approach to determining how to prioritize research and development projects based on newly developed patent mapping and valuation techniques using state of the art software.
Research-based firms continuously seek to discover new ideas and new technologies and to translate these into unique products. Products that can be protected from competition by patents or other intellectual property rights. This requires a solid knowledge of the market and the trends in the market; who are your competitors and who are potentially your partners?
This is where a patent map will help you. Mapping the patent landscape will give you an overview of and insight into patent clusters and other relevant patent data, including relationships among the data points in the patent map. A map will also increase your potential for developing new technologies that can be patented and that will reinforce existing markets or secure new market shares. Patent map provides graphical representations, allowing for comprehensive analysis with ability to link to more detailed text when needed.
How to perform patent mapping, art searches and why they are important.
Patent maps are designed based on basically three types:
? Manual Maps- which are generally Computer Generated Maps;
? Data Mining- It includes temporal Analysis of the patent data and arrange the extracted data as a Co-occurancy Matrix from Structured/Fielded Data;
? Text Mining- Involved Concept Mapping and Concept Clustering.
A lot of valuable information is now available of the industries in different databases in the web. Among all those patents the most important and easily available. Patent searching can give insights into the state of the art across any technical field. It can provide a platform to monitor the competitors activities by revealing which companies are involved in a field of technology of your interest. Patent searching data can also reveal the technological road map to a particular invention, the science or logic behind the invention, and its intended application.
However the legal nature of patents makes them an uncompromisingly formal style. They are written in a language sometimes so abstruse that it does more to obscure the nature of the invention than to elucidate it. Also the millions of patents exited are distributed across different databases and in each case coded and grouped according to one of several classification systems. The family patent information is also varied from various databases.
The skilled patent search requires in-depth knowledge of an array of software tools, search commands, searching techniques and classification systems. That?s why patent searching is an expert's job. In the recent few years the demand for a professional patent searcher has increased.
Main benefits of free-access Web databases are that they provide a low-cost means of doing initial background searches. The problem is that they suffer serious drawbacks for more crucial searches.
For example: free databases generally come from the patent issuing authorities (usually national patent offices) so their content is restricted to those patents granted by that particular authority. There is no universal structure, so the same fields may not necessarily be searchable across different databases. There is no 'added value' - such as readable abstracts in plain English, which has given patent information-provider Thomson Derwent its enviable reputation. There are rarely any patent analysis technologies. And they do not provide the option of sophisticated, command driven, Boolean searches as offered by powerful tools from host companies such as Dialog, Delphion, Questel-Orbit, MicoPat and STN - which also allow parallel searches across several (commercial and free) databases at once.
Measurement of emerging technology
Patent ?mapping? and ?landscaping? are useful heuristic and presentation tools ? they involve making key-word based comparisons between the identified set of patents. Comparative analysis produces output in the form of a contour 'map? whose XY dimensions are derived by term-frequency comparison and clustering of patents with similar keywords. The map thus portrays a quasi 3-dimensional representation of the multidimensional 'net' of the pair wise links between the patents.
An IP portfolio is thus shown as a series of technology 'peaks' and ?valleys? containing more or fewer patents that are closely related to one another in the overall patent landscape.
Patent mapping is an interdisciplinary skill that involves understanding of the sciences, being able to uncover the business opportunities and requires an understanding of patent law.
As competitive tools, patents are merge followed by being mapped to potentially:
? Gain patent-protected entry into lucrative but contested markets;
? Acquire exclusive rights to emerging market-leading technologies;
? Increase R&D effectiveness and avoid potential infringement.
Patent intelligence is a unique public source of information used to study technological changes and advancement to a particular technological area. Companies often use patent information either as a current awareness tool or as more quantitative pattern analysis used in conjunction with other technology-intelligence methods. It is the process of examining large number of patents, quantifying key aspects and identifying patterns and trends in the data.
A patent company scarifies the secrecy of the invention by publishing complete technical documentation of its features in exchange for legal protection (ie., a patent) from pestilential copiers.
Patents are distinguished from other scientific publications in that they signify perceived economic potential. Careful study of patent information is advantageous, because the information generally appears before a new product is introduced, making it possible to track and provide an early warning of a competitor's R&D plans. Patents are the most current innovation intelligence available on new technologies. Patent analysis should be considered a critical component of a company's CI program if the core competency of the firm is an innovative R&D program.
By studying patents, managers can gain a measure of foresight as to where R&D time should be focused and directed.
Bibliometric analysis represents a cost-effective means to critically track innovation progress, and can provide a solid basis to gauge a technology when the information is combined with expert opinion. By combining bibliometric with other intelligence information, CI practitioners can spot competitive threads, uncover relationships between technologies and key players, and identify emerging trends.
Patent data can be a useful resource for trend analysis, technology directions and R&D trends and the identification of licensees for technology transfers or merger/acquisition targets.
Patent informations are like gold mines and making the best use of it is a challenge. In order to extract valuable information from these patent databases, there is essentially a need for a systematic method known as patent mapping so as to build a navigational knowledge base for technology and business intelligence. The technique of patent mapping can be engaged in all functional groups across an enterprise. R&D group, for example requires patent information to validate innovations, make decisions about buying or make-in-house technologies, and better understand competitors? plan. Legal group seeks information to pursue patent infringement litigation or protect the enterprise?s interest from infringement. Finance group seeks patent information to identify revenue-generating licensing opportunities. Human resource group uses this information from patents to identify leading scientists and engineers for strategic recruitment purposes.
In general patent analysis involves extracting data from a patent document literature and analyzing these data by different criteria. The type of map that is created depends upon the question that is trying to be answered. There are two broad categories in patent mapping, namely data mining and text mining. Data mining involves the extraction of fielded data and the analysis thereof. Mining or mapping this information can provide someone an idea of who are the major players in the relevant technological field, and that type of work they are generally focusing on.
About the Author: I am a Masters in Biotechnology with well-developed skills and experience in handing research work and patent searching, analysis, mapping and report writing. Please visit to my personal page http://www.freewebs.com/vinodksingh/