Transforming patent information into insight


James Cooper and Caitlin Kavanagh

Transforming patent information into insight

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PatBase Analytics V2 offers a range of features to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of evaluating patents within a landscape search, as James Cooper and Caitlin Kavanagh of Minesoft explain.

Although exploiting your own patent portfolio effectively can be an excellent basis on which to build business decisions and strategy, it is not sufficient to know and understand only your own portfolio. In this increasingly competitive and global world, understanding your competitors’ patent portfolios and how they compare to your own is critical for business survival. 

As the rate at which new inventions are being patented is ever-increasing, the continuous monitoring of new patents is vital to ensure corporate success and financial stability when attempting to access new markets, exploit existing ones and scope the profitability of emerging products.

Patent search and analysis platforms, such as PatBase, are essential for users to search, review, analyse and share patent information, to harness the knowledge found in patents, gain competitive intelligence and build on the ideas of others to drive innovation forward.

This article focuses on patent landscape analysis, a process that helps inform policy discussions, strategic research planning and technology transfer within a business.

Viewing the landscape

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.

Building a patent landscape report

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?

Starting with high-quality data is crucial to the accuracy and precision of any patent search and analysis. If the underlying data are unreliable then no end result using that data can be trusted. The data quality in PatBase is maintained by a close working relationship with the big five patent offices, making thousands of error corrections to the data we receive and combining it with additional information to add quality to the end file.

Recently, Minesoft and RWS have doubled the number of Chinese assignee names translated in PatBase using a controlled high-quality human translation (now at 40,000)—just one example of the work we put in to continuously improve our backlog of patent data.

It can take time to devise the initial search strategy with a combination of keywords, classification codes, assignees and inventors and focus on the subject with several limitation steps. In PatBase, search results can be narrowed by optimising results and refining by geographical area, publication date, technology area and assignee.

This process allows the searcher to compile a solid strategy and progress to the next stage of the landscape search. PatBase also offers features to broaden the scope of the search, such as semantic searching and PatBase Thesaurus, for specialised technology terms and multilingual translation.

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. Visualise the landscape search by generating statistical graphs in PatBase Analytics V2: the recently launched, powerful analytics platform fully integrated in PatBase.

View the data from several angles (jurisdiction, year, assignee, inventor, etc) and at multiple levels (families, priorities, applications, grants, etc) to reveal answers to the key questions defined at the beginning of your landscape report and easily draw valuable conclusions, ensuring you stay focused on your goal.

Who benefits from patent analysis?

Patent landscape analyses can be used to provide insight to different stakeholder groups across an organisation, including patent specialists and non-patent professionals, such as management, research and development (R&D) and IP legal departments. A bird’s-eye view of market trends and key competitors as well as identification of potential business partners may be appropriate for management teams.

Many patent analysis tools provide users with the ability to create visually appealing reports (eg, bubble charts and 3D graphs) that communicate the results clearly for decision-makers in a boardroom environment.

R&D departments benefit from an in-depth analysis of technological developments in their field of expertise and identification of opportunities for new product development in low-risk areas which should avoid wasted R&D time and costs. Often, innovation-driven companies will provide their own researchers and engineers with access to patent search and analysis tools to allow them to explore the landscape themselves.

The third group for whom patent analysis is of particular value is the IP or legal department, who will use the results to identify potential areas of weakness to help form a patent litigation strategy. The inclusion of up-to-date legal status data as part of the analysis—a feature just added to PatBase Analytics—makes it extremely valuable.


Patent information is a vast, valuable source of competitive intelligence but the volume and complexity of data available can be overwhelming. Patent analysis and landscaping is a means of interpreting patent data, revealing trends and patterns and making it communicable to a wider audience of stakeholders who can draw actionable intelligence from it. Using the increasingly sophisticated tools available to retrieve, analyse and monitor patent information, knowledge and insights can be extracted that help shape commercial strategies.

Lead software developer at Minesoft, James Gray, has put together a guide to show how PatBase Analytics V2 can be used to build an effective patent landscape analysis that can be presented in a boardroom environment—even to those without patent know-how.

To request your free copy, contact or call on +44 (0)20 8404 0651.


James Cooper is a support executive at Minesoft. Having joined in 2015 to provide support for the new chemical explorer module, Cooper now assists with the company’s marketing, customer relationship management and support services for all products. He can be contacted at:

Caitlin Kavanagh joined Minesoft as a marketing executive and has worked extensively with the support and business development teams. Kavanagh has worked on numerous projects to expand Minesoft’s web presence, as well as creating company communications for multiple platforms. She can be contacted at:

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