In today’s modern age, when you want to go from point A to point B, Google Maps has become a preferred tool of choice. It quickly displays the quickest path to get you where you need to go. You do not need to know every detail of the path; only a snapshot of the route with easy-to-understand visualizations of the data. Similarly, patent landscapes provide a snapshot of the patent situation in a specific technology. They can inform licensing targets, identify whitespace, and uncover technology trends. They may also be used to analyze the validity of patents based on data about their legal status. The data is analyzed and presented visually to provide an understanding of the data discovered.
Understanding the whole IP ecosystem
There are many different types of patent landscapes. The landscape itself may be represented by simple charts or graphs or may involve a full-scale research report. Regardless of the final form, all patent landscapes involve answering one or more of the following questions:
- Who are the key players that are active in your technology space, and what are their relative strengths and weaknesses in terms of intellectual property portfolios?
- Who are the most active patenting company and where?
- Which IP assets apply to your current and future products and technologies?
- What possible whitespaces exist in your field?
- What is the patent situation on a global scale? Are there countries where there is more or less patent activity?
- What is the overall state of the intellectual property ecosystem in your industry? Who are your competitors currently partnering with, and what potential merger and acquisition activity might affect the valuation of their intellectual property portfolios?
Track the evolving patent landscape with InnovationQ
One common criticism of patent landscaping is that it tends to be static. Most reports or graphs can only provide a snapshot of the market at a certain point in time. And even the most meticulous and detailed patent study may be obsolete in a few weeks–or even days. Tools like InnovationQ try to overcome this challenge, by automating landscape generation to keep content up-to-the-minute.
But such critiques misunderstand the real importance of patent landscaping. Like any good roadmap, a patent landscape cannot tell you what trip to take. But it can provide a snapshot of the obstacles that might stand in your path. Ideally, a patent landscape will help you prioritize your research and development. With a stronger understanding of your patent ecosystem, you can also identify which competitors would make the best targets for cross-licensing or acquisition.
Making patent landscapes work for you
Patent landscaping is about assessing enablers of or barriers to innovation in such a way as to guide your company’s global growth and development. A patent landscape is about gathering and visualizing data in such a way that it creates a story that you can share with everyone in your organization.
If your business is built on technology and intellectual property, patent landscaping is not optional. It is a critical form of intelligence that strengthens the value of your assets while helping you to identify new partners and expand to new markets.
All you need to know is the problem you want to solve to make patent landscaping work for you. This can all be accomplished with tools like InnovationQ. Or simply contact us today so our U.S.-based search team can complete a patent landscape for you.