This time I would like to strike a blow for “patent intelligence”. Part of the reason for this is simply that I personally believe that “patent intelligence” could help a lot of companies win the battle against their competitors. Another significant reason is my own personal interest in this field.
As we all know, technology-based firms continuously seek to discover new technologies and to translate these into commercially flourishing products or services: products or services that can be protected from competition by patents or other intellectual property rights. This usually requires knowledge of the market and of trends in the market: who are your current (and potential future) competitors; who are your potential partners; which technologies attract growing interest and which do not; who are the most productive inventors within a certain technical field; are there any potential barriers of entry into a new technical field, etc., etc.? This is where patent analysis comes into play.
Patent analysis can have significant value for a company in helping to understand and predict the development of the competitive technology landscape. Once the patent analysis has been carried out, the next key stage in patent intelligence is what is known as “patent mapping”. Patent mapping can be displayed by, for example, visual representations using bar graphs, polygonal line graphs, pie charts and other charts/graphs, or even by visual presentations known as “Patent Landscapes”. Visualization is an effective and appealing way of representing the results of this type of analysis.
Patent mapping is a technique for transforming patent information into business intelligence to help CEOs, VPs and others to make well-informed decisions. It is a technique that uses patent information to create graphical representations of patents relevant to a particular technical field, which can be used to illustrate a competitor’s relative patent strength in this area. Intelligence such as this may then allow a company to plan its R&D efforts, evaluate the strength of its patent portfolio relative to its competitors, identify potential M&A opportunities, and so on. Patent mapping gives CEOs and VPs a good way of looking at and understanding the patent landscape without having to understand all the intricacies of patent law. I am certain that many small and medium-sized companies would benefit from this type of analysis.
So, if you want to achieve the leading position you so dearly desire, begin mapping the patent landscape around you…
Christian Arkelius, Patent Attorney