For most IP professionals the capabilities in terms of undertaking patent analytics to deliver broader trends within specific patent sets are determined by what kind of insights they can come up with which will support decision making, new product development, marketing and other areas. It’s a skill perfected by working with large patent sets across numerous categories over a significant amount of time and experienced patent analysts have become indispensable to the innovation driven organizations. While some organizations can hire this talent, others prefer to engage the services of professional patent analysts who can deliver patent landscapes and reports based on the requirements submitted. Important decisions are often made on the basis of these patent insights and the knowledge requirements for such data usually surface in two scenarios:
1) Where in-depth analysis needs to be done across a number of different technology areas where multiple patent sets need to be created. These then need to be analyzed to answer several highly specific questions such as “How can the number of forward citations on a set of our patents be compared to a similar set of patents from our competitors over the past 5 years?” These insights need to be processed and delivered when ready and time is not a serious concern as they are needed more for knowledge than immediate decisions.
2) Where quick answers or broader insights are needed quickly to have immediate birds-eye view of things before going into a decision which again needs to be made in a short time period. For example, a company going into a meeting with another company that holds patents on XYZ technology which the former is interested in licensing. Now if they need to know “What aspects of the overall technology space are dependent on XYZ technology, how active are other firms in the space and does it cover most Asian and European markets that we wish to operate in?” In this scenario, speed is of the essence and realistically there may not be enough time to engage a third party firm to carry out analysis.
The second scenario is the one where organizations that have their own IP knowledge resources and capabilities have the upper hand. It need not be expensive or complicated to build those capabilities which one can rely on to generate these on demand patent analysis. With software solutions like Patent iNSIGHT Pro , various analytics, insights and even landscapes can be generated fairly quickly when required. As a best practice, if IP professionals within the company frequently create, store, categorize and sort through the patent sets on areas relevant to their organizations, the process of creating on demand reports and analysis becomes that much quicker.
Most time is spent not just on the analysis side of things but in locating the right patents, searching for specific data, categorizing data and re-work on the search strategy. By doing these tasks once and saving them so that they can be quickly retrieved when needed, significant time can be saved and the process of generating reports to look at broader trends or creating on-demand analysis reports can be speeded up.
For example, when we carry out research for our series of Technology Insight Reports , we first decide what kind of insights we would need from this technology. Based on this, we search through a patent database and create the patent sets we would need to analyze for the project. In some cases such as the report on LED Lighting Technology where we needed to compare LED based Lighting patent filings with that of Fluorescent and Incandescent technologies, separate patent sets needed to be created for each technology and saved. Once stored however, it was easy to go back and pull up those patent sets every time a new type of analysis has to be done.
So if speed is an important factor when it comes to building and delivering quick IP insights for your organization, focus first on identifying the patent sets and categories you will frequently require. Save them, categorize or sort them once and the rest will be simpler!