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II-SDV 2016 Aalt van de Kuilen - The Art of Patent Landscaping


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This presentation will give some guidelines on how to create a meaningful Patent Landscapes. Generating patent landscaping reports seems simple, but it isn’t. For making patent landscapes you have to take several different issues into consideration.
It’s important at the start to already have in mind what kind of landscape report you are going to prepare, and choose a topic of interest, but preferable not one that is too broad. It’s also extremely important to have a clean (80-90% relevance) dataset that the landscape is based on; otherwise the outcome will be rubbish. And of course, do not use landscapes for questions that require a legal opinion (like Freedom-to-operate conclusions!!). Patent landscapes are not aimed to be as precise as other patent searches.
Some more important issues has to be taken in account and are presented.

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II-SDV 2016 Aalt van de Kuilen - The Art of Patent Landscaping

  1. 1. The Art of Patent Landscaping II-SDV - Nice Aalt van de Kuilen April, 18th 2016
  2. 2. Definitions  Patent landscape reports provide a snap-shot of the patent situation of a specific technology or company, either within a given country or region, or globally. WIPO definition
  3. 3. Why? Patent Landscapes can give an overview of  technology sector  competitors  economic value of patent portfolios  strategic position Impact of Patent Landscapes on R&D:  shorten R&D time by 60%  save R&D costs by 40%
  4. 4. Limitations  Very important:  Be aware that not all companies, active in a market, have a similar patent filing strategy  Example  TESLA (hardly any patents on electric cars)
  5. 5. Before we start Before starting the Patent Landscape it is important to know the reason for creating a patent landscape!!! Every Landscape has a purpose why it has to be created!!
  6. 6. Creating a landscape  Don’t underestimate how difficult it can be to create a landscape  Do not underestimate time needed to plan and execute a landscape!!
  7. 7. Step 1: Ask for the reason for creating this landscape The purpose for the landscape has impact on what decision(s) is/are going to be taken based on the information.  impact on the scope!!!
  8. 8. Step 2: Become familiar with the topic Before you start you have to become familiar with the topic by reading some general articles or reviews.
  9. 9. Step 3: Considerations before starting the search a) Patent families b) Citation search c) Patent assignee names d) Classifications e) Regions f) Broad or small topic
  10. 10. a) Patent Families What is the most useful patent family structure for landscaping Databases have different definitions Most used are 2 definitions  Extended families  INPADOC (about 89% is based on one priority!)  Strict families  WPI, Espacenet.(100% based on one priority)
  11. 11.  Citation analysis can give additional records. (be aware of different policies especially between EU en US)  A manual check is needed. b) Citation search
  12. 12.  No standardization of company names.  Manually corrections are necessary! Helpful   Corporate Trees (most providers have one)  Derwent Company Codes ( Link )  Standardization initiatives (Univ. of Leuven) KUL/EUROSTAT: Method for harmonizing applicants names c) Patent assignee names
  13. 13. d) Classifications Absolutely necessary. Keywords only is insufficient and will miss a lot of records, especially in new technologies. A global classification system is most preferred, like IPC and CPC. Warning 1: Not all documents have a CPC ,10-30% of the families do not have a CPC assigned, mainly records coming from Japan, China, Korea and Russia. For details about coverage see the CPC website Warning 2: be aware that not all relevant documents are classified correctly!
  14. 14. e) Regions Which countries do you want to include  depend on the topic!! 1. Where are the main competitors located? 2. Are all technology areas as important for all regions? 3. For some countries it is hard to retrieve patent information
  15. 15. f) Broad or small topic Broad topics are seldom useful for landscaping. Topics like: Pharma industry, Green energy, Automotive industry, Nanotechnology are distributed over several classes and hard to retrieve Small topics, within a small set of classes, are more reliable for landscaping.
  16. 16. Step 4: Search Most critical step! Broad approach is most often the best! (Include both classes and keywords) Which database(s)?? (be aware  documents missed at this stage will never show up later!!)
  17. 17. Step 5: Clean up in order to create a reliable landscape 80-90% relevancy is required Sometimes a manual clean-up is necessary
  18. 18. Step 6: Checking the dataset Check whether or not your set make sense. Look if some key patents are included in the set.
  19. 19.  Step 7: analyzing, visualization and reporting  Many tools are available for analyzing the data . Choose the tool that fits best for purpose  Visualize only global trends and not specific data. Too detailed reports will not be read.  The most important part of the report is the summary!! (most clients do not read more than the summary page)
  20. 20. Summary (How to create a patent landscape in 7 steps)  Step 1: Ask the reason for the landscape  Step 2: Become familiar with the topic  Step 3: Considerations before starting the search a) Patent families b) Citation search c) Patent assignee names d) Classifications e) Regions f) Broad or small topic  Step 4: Search  Step 5: Clean up  Step 6: Checking the dataset  Step 7: Analyzing, visualization and reporting
  21. 21. Example  Tsunami Warning systems  Your company wants to develop a new Tsunami Warning System. Before starting, they want to know what is already available on the market, who are the competitors and what described in IP.
  22. 22. To become familiar with the topic Wikipedia is often a good source Gives, in this case, the very important information that a tsunami is an earthquake.
  23. 23. Considerations and search  Classifications  Citations  Database selection (more than one?)
  24. 24. Proposed choices Text search: example!! Most probably in Title and abstract and claims (earthquake) w5? (warning or alarm) Most probably in full text (tsunami) w5? (warning or alarm) Classifications: example!! (CPC=(G08B21/10 or H04W4/22 or G01V1/008 or H04W76/007 OR H04W4/06 OR H04W76/002 OR H04W68/00)) or (CPC=NO (records with no CPC)! and (IPC=G08B21/10 or G08B21/00 or G08B27/00 or G01V1/00 or H04W/22 OR H04W4/22 OR H04W4/06 OR H04M11/04 OR G08B27/00))
  25. 25. Possibilities for data clean up  Exclude old documents  Exclude Chinese, Taiwanese and Korean records with only one family member (or other less relevant countries?)  Exclude German Utility Models, with only one family member DEU In this case, at this stage, approx. 2000 records  Further limitations and clean-up based on the scope/purpose of the landscape!!
  26. 26. Analyzing, visualization and reporting After having created the set, there is no preference in the tool used for analyzing and visualization Be sure the report (and even the summary) gives answers to the questions that has been asked.
  27. 27. Conclusion  Patent Landscaping is complex and time consuming!!  Patent Landscaping has it’s limitations
  28. 28.