By: Devin Salmon, Patent Analyst, IP.com
Mapping patent portfolios can provide highly sought-after insight into where a company is innovating and investing. Comparing competitors’ portfolios can be a daunting and complex task, but InnovationQ Plus allows you to quickly contrast two companies’ patent portfolios, glean helpful information, and draw conclusions. You can identify differences between where one company is developing technology and the other is not. Here are the simple steps to do this quickly and efficiently in InnovationQ Plus using the next generation semantic map.
Use the corporate tree to build a portfolio in InnovationQ Plus for each company of interest and combine them into one portfolio, using portfolio actions to combine. You may also use the corporate tree to filter to both companies’ patents at once. For this example, I have created a portfolio in InnovationQ Plus for Visa and Mastercard.
After you’ve created a single portfolio containing all the patents for both companies, the pop-up dialog gives you the option to “Map this portfolio” to map the document. If you miss this pop-up, go to the sidebar menu, and “Map this portfolio” from Manage portfolios.
Use highlights to color each companies’ documents different colors to help quickly identify areas where the two companies do or do not overlay. For this example, I have set Mastercard’s patents to be red and Visa’s to blue. I also colored Mastercard’s acquisitions orange and Visa’s acquisitions a light blue. Using the coloring lets you see areas where they have made acquisitions quickly.
From a high-level view, you can see that Visa and Mastercard overlay in most technical areas. They are both active in the broader technical areas. Zooming in and exploring the map shows more specific areas where only one company is present. There are only blue hexagons (Visa) around the key concept of healthcare. This means only Visa has patents in this area as there are not any red hexagons (Mastercard).
Using either the auto-region or lasso tool to select the area around the term you can narrow the result set to only the patent documents in this area and learn more about the documents selected. Looking further at these, I find that Visa has been filing around the area of systems for managing healthcare spending accounts (HSAs).
Where documents from both companies are very close or on top of each other in the map may be of interest as potential infringement. Learn about if a company is shifting focus or expanding into a new technology, based on their patent applications. There are many things you may learn from mapping two companies’ patent portfolios together. You may even evaluate two companies to see how well their patent portfolios complement each other, prior to a merger or acquisition.
Learn about your biggest competitors or targets using the next generation semantic map in InnovationQ Plus. makes it quick and easy to contrast the patent portfolios of companies to identify where competitors are expanding.