Patent Mapping: A Better Way to Visualize IP Opportunities and Risks


One of the more interesting trends to emerge from the big data movement is the rise in data visualization tools. The market for data visualization applications, which enable users to present and interact with large data sets in a visual way, is expected to grow from $4.1 billion to $6.4 billion over the next five years. Driving this growth is the need for business users to quickly extract insights from all the data they’re collecting.

Patent strategy is one of many areas that can benefit from data visualization. Creating interactive maps of an intellectual property (IP) portfolio, and the proximity of those patents to those of your competitors, can help companies understand the competitive landscape and identify “hot spots” that signal opportunities for licensing IP, entering new markets, or launching new products.

The key to successful patent mapping, of course, lies in the underlying data. Too many companies use visualization tools based on flawed or limited data. Traditional IP search tools, for example, rely on classification codes – similar to the card catalog system at the local library – that by their nature limit searches to specific industries.

Our Map visualization tool within InnovationQ, by comparison, bypasses classification codes in favor of more sophisticated contextual search technology. This approach, based proprietary neural network technology, provides a deeper, more meaningful understanding of each patent’s strengths and vulnerabilities.

Importantly, contextual search enables you to map opportunities outside of your core markets. For example, the image-processing techniques used in oil exploration are very similar to the methods used in healthcare providers’ mammography systems. By cross-licensing patents to a medical device maker, an oil company could monetize stagnant patents that are no longer strategic in the energy sector but would be considered a technological advancement in the medical industry.

Visualization tools can be an effective way for business users to see new opportunities to leverage a patent portfolio for business growth. And who doesn’t want to impress the CEO with a series of eye-popping charts that contain both style and substance?

How are you visualizing your IP opportunities and risks? Drop us a message and we can help.