Use of Patents For Competitive and Technical Intelligence Decision Making

Patent are one of the most valuable competitive and technological information source available today and most important is that, its freely and easy accessible through various patent databases. Patent bibliographic information provides lots of insights pertaining to the competitor’s activity, market strategies, R&D focus and business strategies. The full text of the patent documents discloses the technological improvements, innovations and various ways of solving technical problems.

Various text and data mining technologies are developed and many more are in the development stage by various vendors to generate valuable insights from the patent information and representing into highly visual format for easy to understand. Broadly speaking there are two types of technologies being currently in use to map the information derived from the patents such as:

  • Patent Bibliographic Information Mapping (PBIM) Technology
  • Patent Technical Information Disclosure Mapping (PTID) Technology

The Patent Bibliographic Information Mapping (PBIM) technology involves mapping of the data obtained from the front pages of a patent document. A typical front page of a patent includes the following information, which can be used to gain insights about the competitive landscape of the particular technology domain or a particular competitor:

[12] Patent Country Code

[54] Patent Title

[75] Inventors

[73] Assignee (*) Notice – Any patent term extension

[22] Filing Date [63] CIP Information

[60] Provisional Patent Information

[30] Foreign Patent Priority Data

[51] International Patent Classification

[52] US classification [58] Field of Search

[56] Reference Cited

[57] Abstract

[74] Attorney, Agent or Firm

[10] Patent/Publication Number with Country and Kind Code

[45] Issue/ Grant Date

[43] Publication Date

The information as illustrate above, is disclosed on the front pages of the patents or publications and could be mapped in various combinations to generate valuable competitive insights. Similarly, Patent Technical Information Disclosure Mapping (PTID) Technology can be used to get an understanding of the technical landscape of any particular technology. A fulltext patent document consists of following subsets of information: Title Abstract Field of Invention Background of Invention/Prior art Summary Brief Description of Drawings Detailed Description and Claims. Although patent protection is only available to the technical elements and feature disclosed in the claim, but to gain insights about a particular technology landscape, Background of Invention and Detailed Description is very useful source of information. This information can be clustered based on the technical elements and features of the technology and further mapped to generate insights pertaining to the possible new research opportunities, filling the technical gaps, white space, and technology forecasting.

In conclusion, patents are a source of competitive and technical information, and if wisely and analytically used, it could help corporate in taking strategic business and R&D decision to gain competitive advantages in the global economy.

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