Assessing the patent landscape

21-06-2017

Rob Poolman and Tim Campbell

Assessing the patent landscape

Jim Kruger / iStockphoto.com

With PatBase, an online patent database created by Minesoft, users can generate patent landscape reports to enhance their searches. Rob Poolman and Tim Campbell of Minesoft explain more.

With PatBase, an online patent database created by Minesoft, users can generate patent landscape reports to enhance their searches.

Rob Poolman and Tim Campbell of Minesoft explain more.

Patent landscape reports give a snapshot of the patents in a specific subject area or which cover a type of technology. Generally taking one to two weeks to complete, a landscape report can cover hundreds or thousands of patent families. The reports can be used to visualise and discover existing gaps in relevant areas, gain competitive intelligence by understanding the current landscape, predict where your market is heading and spot trends in areas of interest to aid investment. They are a critical step in the research and development as well as competitive or patent strategy for any company or institution.

You can execute your landscape search more efficiently and accurately with PatBase, a high-quality, comprehensive patent search and analysis platform that uses enhanced data and enables searchers to conduct complex searches across the widest full text collection available.

When starting a patent landscape search, it’s important to define in advance what you want to achieve and what your end goals are. You may want to address some or all of these questions while conducting your search.

Is this a growing area of interest?

What are the fields of current interest?

Who are the key players?

Where are the key players filing their inventions?

Who are the main opinion leaders in this field?

What is the legal status of the families in this area?

Having a clear understanding of the area you’re investigating is critical when analysing the final landscape and answering these key questions. Studying a selection of basic literature and online research will unearth some high-level keywords, as well as identifying key players that are associated with the technology or subject area you’re landscaping.

It will be worthwhile taking the time to devise your initial search strategy with a combination of keywords, classification codes, assignees and inventors and focus on your subject with several limitation steps. In PatBase, search results can be narrowed down by optimising results and refining by geographical area, publication date, technology area and assignee. This process allows you to compile a solid search strategy and progress to the next stage of your landscaping search. PatBase offers features to broaden the scope of the search such as semantic searching and a thesaurus library for specialised technology terms and for multi-lingual translation.

Only after a patent search process has delivered the best possible set of answers can you determine the relevance of your answer set and judge whether a reliable patent landscape analysis can be made. Studies indicate if it’s 80% or more, your search strategy appears sound. Your answer set can be viewed by “most cited” to confirm that the most important patents in the specified area are included in your results. Assuming your initial set meets your criteria, you can use the results of this set to optimise your search strategy. If not, you will need to adjust your search accordingly as a patent analysis needs to be of high quality throughout to deliver meaningful insight.

"Regular patent landscaping is crucial for survival in any innovation-driven industry to identify gaps, monitor competitor activity, and identify acquisition, licensing or collaboration opportunities."

Other services

PatBase offers a range of features to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your evaluation of patents within your landscape search. This means patent data can then be further visualised with detailed and transparent graphs for competitive intelligence and to better understand the industry landscape. Plenty of tools offered in PatBase as well as third-party software will optimise and ease the entire process, including advanced highlighting and TextMine. You can drill down into patent documents and unearth relevant information, fast.

Visualise your landscape search by generating statistical graphs in PatBase Analytics. By viewing the data from many angles (jurisdiction, year, assignee, inventor, etc) and at multiple levels (families, priorities, applications, grants, etc) you can reveal answers to the key questions defined at the beginning of your landscape report and easily draw some conclusions, ensuring you stay focused on your goal.

Regular patent landscaping is crucial for survival in any innovation-driven industry to identify gaps, monitor competitor activity, and identify acquisition, licensing or collaboration opportunities. Having access to a high-quality data set within a comprehensive database of global patent data, like PatBase, is the key first step. However, ensuring a focused and inclusive search strategy is vital to the quality of the answer set.

Minesoft has recently published a report titled “Landscape Analysis in 6 Simple Steps”. Download the report for free at minesoft.com/patent-landscape-analysis.

PatBase, the online patent database, allows you to optimise the way you search and review patent literature. Trusted by top patenting corporations and IP law firms worldwide, PatBase acts as a robust and powerful platform from which to search, review, share and analyse business-critical patent information.

To sign up for a free two-week trial of PatBase, visit discoverpatents.net.

Rob Poolman is senior manager of innovation and consulting at Minesoft UK. He joined the company in 2014 and focuses on spearheading future product development. He can be contacted at: info@minesoft.com

Tim Campbell is vice president, North America at Minesoft. He is responsible for managing all Minesoft tools and services with a primary focus on PatBase. He can be contacted at: info@minesoft.com

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