Taming Patent White Space Analysis – A Guide for IP Owners
White space analysis is a process to identify gaps in the patent landscape that can lead to potential opportunities for your IP strategy. These gaps can correspond to either new inventions that can strengthen your existing technology portfolio, or opportunities to block others from using the same technology. White space analysis helps identify possible opportunities before your competitors and achieve competitive advantage
Why should you conduct white space analysis?
Two main reasons that drive users to carry out a white space analysis include:
Expansion into new technology areas – Finding new areas for innovation and exclusivity that help enhance the existing technology-patent portfolio.
Identify gaps in your existing technology space – Internally focused mapping includes looking at your existing technology space and mapping your current IP against a Problem-vs-Solutions Matrix. The problems and solutions are specific to the technology and multiple vantage points can be taken. This analysis helps in finding adjacent or ancillary opportunities that you can also be pursuing.
Look within your business to identify technology areas to pursue
Look at your company and market data such as currently available products to identify any areas containing potential opportunities. By comparing the products, services already used by the customer and other products and services the company can provide, you can find areas where opportunities can be explored. Knowing the core technological capabilities, strengths and weaknesses of your company goes a long way in deciding the chosen areas for white space analysis.
Analysis of the shortlisted technology areas
For the chosen area you will need expert advice to decide if it makes business sense in doing a white space analysis within them. Post that, analyze the area by trying to find answers to questions like- what are the different market areas, what are the top challenges in the market, what are the current product or technologies that address the challenges, what technologies are our strengths, what are current and future markets for the technology etc. Each question corresponds to a unique perspective around which you will create categories(buckets).
Plot your next move against the validated white spaces
Generate co-occurrence maps and share them with R&D team and other stakeholders to validate the identified gaps. Technology options that will address the gap should be brain-stormed. Whether it is feasible for the company to enter that technology space and carry out innovation must be evaluated by all relevant stakeholders. Aligning the outcome of white space analysis to your business objectives is an extremely critical final step of the overall process.
Read the complete article to find out how to use white space analysis to identify potential opportunities before your competitors. Visit – White Space Analysis – A Guide for IP Owners