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Using Patent Analytics to Engage Senior Management in Corporate Strategy

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EPO President, Benoît Battistelli, at the 2013 EPO Patent Information Conference said, "Patent information is a top priority for the EPO”. This was a significant endorsement of the importance of patent information by the highest official of one of the world’s most influential patent offices. Looking at our own organizations, can patent information professionals say that their own senior management shares a similar view of the importance of patent information, and its practitioners? The key to increasing the value of patent information within an organization is to apply it to critical business decisions, and to put it in terms that are understood by senior officials. Examples of how to accomplish this goal will be provided.

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Using Patent Analytics to Engage Senior Management in Corporate Strategy

  1. 1. © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale. Patinformatics, LLC® Data Driven Decisions Patent Strategy and Analytics Services Using Patent Analytics to Engage Senior Management in Patent Strategy Moving Patent Information up the Value Chain Anthony Trippe, Managing Director European Patent Office Patent Information Conference Warsaw, Poland – November 3, 2014
  2. 2. © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale. Patinformatics, LLC® Data Driven Decisions Patent Strategy and Analytics Services Why is patent analytics critical from a business perspective? • Too many decisions are made without proper intelligence or analysis • “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” – Abraham Maslow, 1966 • The “old boy” network or rolodex model applies • Too often analysis is being done by individuals who do not understand the nuances of patent information • Analytics lower the risks associated with business decisions and ensure higher returns
  3. 3. © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale. Patinformatics, LLC® Data Driven Decisions Patent Strategy and Analytics Services Why is patent analytics important from an R&D perspective? • It’s a tool to assist with long term strategic technical planning • It involves work processes for helping technical decision makers make smarter decisions faster • It’s an analytical process that transforms disaggregated technological information into relevant strategic knowledge about your competitor’s, or a subject’s technical position, size of efforts, and trends
  4. 4. © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale. Patinformatics, LLC® Data Driven Decisions Patent Strategy and Analytics Services What’s so special about patent analytics? • Also from 1966 -”We have the choice of using patent statistics cautiously and learning what we can from them, or not using them and learning nothing about what they alone can teach us.” – Schmookler, Innovation and Economic Growth pg 56
  5. 5. © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale. Patinformatics, LLC® Data Driven Decisions Patent Strategy and Analytics Services So why should organizational strategy be influenced by patent information • 80% of the information in patents is never published anywhere else • “Eighth Technology Assessment and Forecast Report” – USPTO, 1977 • Actually, 95% of the substances from the patent collection in CAplus did not have a corresponding non-patent literature reference associated with them • “Over the next few years, we will either see the emergence of rational markets for patent trading, which have the potential to deliver trillions of dollars in value, or an opportunity lost as markets fail to engage effectively.” – AISTEMOS CEO Nigel Swycher
  6. 6. © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale. Patinformatics, LLC® Data Driven Decisions Patent Strategy and Analytics Services The world’s patent offices are on board • The rise of the Chief Economist • WIPO and the UK Patent Office have devoted significant resources to the development of patent landscape reports, infographics and patent analysis workshops • IP ValueLab will promote and develop IP management and strategy, IP commercialization and monetization, and IP valuation in Singapore • European Patent Office efforts • EPO & USPTO collaborate for Patent Statistics for Decision Makers • Releases PATSTAT • "Patent information is a top priority for the EPO” – EPO President, Benoît Battistelli – 2013 EPO Patent Information Conference
  7. 7. A practical example of putting these ideas into practice AN ANALYSIS OF THE PATENT POSITION AROUND PERSONAL FITNESS MONITORS © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale.
  8. 8. Patent information is required to make informed decisions about your company’s IP strategy • IP strategy has to play a role in overall business strategy • The two have to be considered simultaneously • Patent information can provide input to establish business direction • Who has Company Z assigned patents to without a press release or financial disclosure? • Who are the major technology stakeholders in a given industry or within an industry vertical or segment? Are these the people I should partner with as I move into a new market? © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale.
  9. 9. Law of Linear Patent Analysis • Develop a Collection of Analysis Tools • Understand the Need Behind the Need • The Need Drives the Question • The Question Drives the Data • The Data Drives the Tool Why is this important? “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” - avoid this at all costs © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale.
  10. 10. A holistic view of patents, as they pertain to corporate strategy requires an integrated approach • Like a three-legged stool © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale. there are different elements to an integrated strategy • Business goals • Financial analysis • Patent considerations • All three elements have to be considered or the item won’t stand
  11. 11. What is a personal fitness monitor? © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale.
  12. 12. Using patent analysis to drive corporate strategy • Project objectives • Complete a high-level competitive analysis of the fitness monitor IP landscape • Look at components and techniques • Assess company’s specific position in fitness monitors • Especially compared to competitors • Identify the main IP strategy opportunities, and threats to company’s business © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale.
  13. 13. Components associated with fitness monitors • Battery • Connector / Communications • Casing • Accelerometer • Memory • Processor • Charger © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale.
  14. 14. Techniques associated with fitness monitors • Flex membranes • Testing/Programing • Rigid Flex Boards • Waterproofing • Power management • Activity algorithms © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale.
  15. 15. We find the following in some of the Jawbone (Aliphcom) patents © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale.
  16. 16. COMPANY IP ASSESSMENTS – FITBIT & JAWBONE (ALIPHCOM) © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale.
  17. 17. Breakdown of FitBit portfolio by Technology Category © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale. 8" 7" 6" 5" 4" 3" 2" 1" 0" Monitoring"System" Monitoring"System"with" Display" Ac?vity"Algorithm" Pending" Allowance" Granted"
  18. 18. Observations on FitBit portfolio • Very narrowly focused on activity monitoring device primarily for counting the number of stairs that a user climbs • US only • Reasonable number of granted patents but no depth • Nothing on established chokepoints or components of the device • Calorie burning calculations were still pending © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale.
  19. 19. Observations on FitBit portfolio • No forward citations • Fair number of independent claims but several steps and all on small variations on same theme • Should consider an IP buying program to protect themselves as market and share increase • Already been sued by SportBrain – dismissed and hopefully the corresponding patent was licensed © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale.
  20. 20. Breakdown of Aliphcom portfolio by Technology Category © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale. 6" 5" 4" 3" 2" 1" 0" Device"Control" Ac+vity"Algorithm" Health"System" Power"Management" Data"Security" Health"Algorithm" Protec+ve"Overmolding" Coa+ng" Communica+ons" Medical"Diagnosis" Nutri+on"Algorithm" Sleep"Algorithm" 2012" 2011"
  21. 21. Observations on Aliphcom portfolio • Most applications have not granted yet! • Potential for foreign coverage • Coverage on power management • Coverage on manufacturing • Coverage on variety of activities, wellness and sleep • Device control could be very interesting © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale.
  22. 22. Observations on Aliphcom portfolio • Have Bluetooth elements in other products but don’t use it in Up product, why? • Few forward citations • Should consider an IP buying program to protect themselves as market and share increase • Have already had to recall first generation and re-issue product due to issues with waterproofing © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale.
  23. 23. THE BROADER IP LANDSCAPE © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale.
  24. 24. IP Landscape – Documents by Organization, Kind and Application Year 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 1 4 2 9 2 3 2 1 12 16 1 2 1 5 1 4 4 3 2 2 1 3 2 3 2 2 2 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 5 5 2 1 3 1 1 3 4 1 1 3 4 1 2 1 5 5 4 3 2 2 1 2 1 4 1 1 1 1 3 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 3 1 1 3 3 1 © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale. 0 10 20 30 40 Philips Aliphcom Theranos Seiko Epson BodyMedia Nike Adidas Polar Electro Fitbit Inc. Georgia Tech P&G Ya Man Ci5zen Holdings Tensys Medical Valencell Omron Univ of Wollongong Apple Healthtech Suunto Univ Hong Kong Polytech Xybernaut
  25. 25. A word about applications vs. grants • Some people suggest that applications should not be included since they are an unknown quantity • I believe they should be included since they demonstrate intent and investment but they should be segregated from the grants • Applications are an option play since you don’t know what they are going to look like after prosecution • Check the file wrapper and whether abandoned © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale.
  26. 26. Which companies have the most forward citations? Omron" Univ"of"Wollongong" Univ"Hong"Kong"Polytechnic" © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale. 800" 700" 600" 500" 400" 300" 200" 100" 0" Theranos" Seiko"Epson" Philips" Aliphcom" Nike" Adidas" Polar"Electro" BodyMedia" Georgia"Tech" Tensys"Medical" P&G" Ya"Man" CiHzen"Holdings" Valencell" Apple" Fitbit"Inc." Healthtech" Suunto" Xybernaut" Sum$of$Count$of$Ci+ng$Patents$by$Company$
  27. 27. Thematic mapping of the domain can also highlight areas of focus Red – Aliphcom Green – FitBit Yellow – Nike Light Blue – Philips Dark Blue – Polar Electro © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale.
  28. 28. Can we begin to draw some conclusions on the industry? • Nike – They have partnered with Apple and were willing to acquire IP from Phatrat – good portfolio for wristband • Adidas – Partnership with Polar and acquired Vivometrics – also have a strong portfolio but more involved with clothing than wristband • BodyMedia – Probably the best portfolio with regards to maturity, breadth and depth © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale.
  29. 29. Additional analysis areas to consider • Should also run searches and perform similar analysis for chokepoint area – power consumption & Bluetooth connectivity for instance • Early priorities for low power consumption and low power Bluetooth or alternative short distance communication standards will be very important in this area • Buying programs should focus on this © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale.
  30. 30. A few weeks after this case study was originally developed Aliphcom bought BodyMedia • Case study completed on April 17th 2013 © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale. and presented during a workshop at the 2013 PIUG Annual Conference on April 27th 2013 • On April 30th 2013 Aliphcom d.b.a. Jawbone acquired BodyMedia for $110 million dollars • BodyMedia was suggested in this study as having one of the best portfolios in this area and that Aliphcom was exposed • It is widely reported that the acquisition is primarily driven by Aliphcom’s desire to own the BodyMedia patent portfolio
  31. 31. A suggestion for engaging senior management RISK AND DIVERSIFICATION - A PATENT STRATEGY FRAMEWORK © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale.
  32. 32. Patents are an investment - literally • One way of viewing innovation strategy at a corporate level is by framing the discussion in terms of portfolio risk and diversification • Executive staff and Board Members traditionally have a finance background and will immediately recognize the concepts of risk and diversification and how they apply to investment strategy © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale.
  33. 33. Growth potential and risk tolerance are corporate issues • A key attribute to identifying corporate goals and defining a strategy for leveraging patents within a company is deciding on the performance expectations associated with those assets • Traditionally, in order to increase the amount of return or profit from an investment, a higher level of risk must be assumed by the organization • The decision on how much risk is acceptable, weighed against the potential for gain from patent assets, should be made at the highest levels of a company • In the best case this is done with understanding and approval from the executive staff and board © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale.
  34. 34. Patent strategy based on investment principles • When patents are treated as investment vehicles • They can be managed using techniques that Boards and Executives are familiar with, and can relate to • Executive management can be engaged to play a meaningful role in patent strategy development © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale.
  35. 35. Technology Investments: Portfolio Risk and Diversification Technology Categorization Financial Investment Compariable Sustaining Technology Bond: low risk/return (improvement to Existing Market) © All rights reserved. Not for reproduc5on, distribu5on or sale. Sustaining Technology

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