Patents are a robust source of technical information. Sorting and aggregating this information into visualizations, charts, and tables uncovers insights that lead to strategic, data-backed decisions. With the right tools and techniques, patent data analysis can show you where your industry is headed, what your competitors are doing, how you can stand out, and more.
However, uncovering comprehensive insights from the millions of in-force patents (3.34 million in the US alone, as of 2020) is almost impossible without the help of AI. IP.com’s suite of AI-backed products and services helps strategic companies analyze patents (as well other technical documents). Updates, like improved user experience and systems that facilitate collaboration, make patent analytics more accessible for a greater number of your employees. Teams working across your organization—such as IP professionals, engineers, and researchers—can use patent search and analysis tools to answer questions unique to their roles.
The most powerful patent data analysis pulls from a large dataset and can clearly communicate actionable insights, notes an industry leader—two strengths of InnovationQ Plus®, which offers features like patent mapping with Corporate Tree and global litigation data.
The insights uncovered with thorough patent data analytics can help innovative organizations answer these questions and others like them.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of our own patent portfolio?
While patent data analysis is widely used to understand what other players in your industry are doing, it can also help inform the IP strategy surrounding your existing portfolio. Using the critical lens of patent analysis, you may discover which types of patents perform well for your organization. Alternatively, you may identify patents prone to legal challenges or unlikely to offer a return on R&D investments.
Where are our competitors investing?
Of course, you’ll also want to answer questions about how your competitors are spending their resources. Patent data can show you what technologies similar companies are protecting. This may offer insight into what new products or features they will offer in the future. It’s also important to look at which patents your competitors now hold thanks to methods other than their own R&D. This can include acquiring another company or buying the rights to existing intellectual property invented by another entity.
Who are new entrants to your industry?
You’re likely very familiar with your existing competitors. If you’re an established member of your industry, you’ve probably been competing with them for years—if not decades. You don’t want to be surprised by new entrants into your industry, especially if they’re positioned to become a direct competitor. Examining the technology landscape using patent data can help identify which entities are innovating in your space. You’ll also want to look at who is citing your patents and your closest competitors’ patents.
Where should we invest research and development resources?
Looking at the industry as a whole—including your own IP as well as that of long-time and new competitors—can help leaders decide where to invest in R&D. Mapping patent data as part of your analysis makes it easier to understand what technologies are well-researched and protected. You’ll also be able to identify white space, where new inventions are more likely to have freedom to operate and enter the market with a competitive advantage.
What partnership opportunities are available?
Data analytics can help you understand the patent landscape beyond your own industry as well. There may be other types of businesses using technology similar to yours. For example, medical imaging and deep-sea exploration require some of the same functionality. The businesses that hold these patents may present monetization opportunities for your patents, or be willing to license their technology to you, saving R&D costs.
Who is a potential acquisition target?
Another way to utilize patent data to inform business strategy is to identify companies that your business could benefit from acquiring. If their patents and other IP complement your own portfolio, merging your organizations could give you more opportunities for monetization and growth.
What new technology should be patented?
Patenting is not the only way to protect your intellectual property. Patent analytics and other business intelligence can help you predict what technologies have the most commercial potential and should be protected. Depending on your unique business, innovation, and industry, defensive publishing can also be a sound strategy.
How can public policy support this industry?
Private businesses are not the only entities that benefit from patent data analysis. A thorough understanding of a technology landscape also helps inform public policy around “R&D investment, prioritization, technology transfer or local manufacturing.”