Skip to main content
InnovationQ Plus

How to Analyze a Patent Portfolio

By March 30, 2020April 6th, 2021No Comments

You can quickly and easily analyze a patent portfolio and ensure a lasting business growth strategy. Read more to learn how to dissect your patent portfolio or that of your competitor, and then identify available opportunities and vulnerabilities in your portfolio.

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 search tool’s next-generation semantic map:

Utilize Corporate Tree

Use the corporate tree to build a portfolio in InnovationQ Plus for each company of interest. Then, combine them into one portfolio using portfolio actions. 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 create 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 in different colors to help quickly identify areas where the two companies’ patents do or do not overlap. For this example, I have set Mastercard’s patents to be red and Visa’s to be 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.

Identify White Space

From a high-level view, you can see that Visa and Mastercard overlay in most areas. They are both active in the broader technical spaces. 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 concept of systems for managing healthcare spending accounts (HSAs).

There are many things you may learn from mapping two companies’ patent portfolios together. Where documents from both companies are very close or on top of each other in the map may be of interest as potential infringement. You can also identify if a company is shifting focus or expanding into new technology, based on their patent applications. 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, which makes it quick and easy to compare and contrast companies’ patent portfolios.