Research and development (R&D) is a crucial process for any entity that plans to lead
innovation in their market and simultaneously build a relevant intellectual property portfolio. And, to do relevant R&D, researchers must have a sense of direction before they invest their time and resources on a technology/product/innovation.
Some of the factors that play a crucial role while strategizing R&D direction and making decisions regarding R& D investments, to avoid reinventing the wheel and to ensure enhanced return on investment, include understanding the current status, deficiencies and scope of the advancement of technology, gauging competition and interpreting possibilities for partnerships/joint ventures/licensing, etc. including identification of new players in the market for M&A.
Patent landscape analysis is one such analytics that can directly help in determining the areas where the company’s efforts should be directed to create great innovations and hence, excellent and relevant intellectual property portfolio.
Landscape Analysis and its Role in Overall R&D and Business Strategy
Landscape analysis is an established multistep process to understand the complete landscape of a technology domain. Such information can be extracted and analyzed using software or manually, to offer expert insights for making informed R&D and business investment decisions.
A complete technology landscape analysis comprises analyzing all technical references (patents and scientific literature) as well as analyzing basic business information to empower the likes of large corporations, SMEs, startups, research institutions to make informed business decisions.
For instance, using a landscape analysis, the R&D team discovers what already exists,
assimilates that knowledge, and further builds upon it to improves the field. The analysis also enables them to accelerate innovation using the solutions they find in the literature.
Additionally, analytics facilitates the business strategy team in identifying white spaces and
current lacunae in the field to determine the right direction to make investments to bridge
those gaps, thereby improving the overall technology and IP. The value of such landscape
the analysis is further enhanced if thought leaders from legal, business development, R&D and marketing is involved in the process.
Patent Analytics is Here to Stay
Generally, a patent landscape analysis is depicted in a graphical format that displays a timeline trend – further segregating different assignees, significant markets, among others. It not only gives a precise picture of the most evident technology trends but also covers other factors such as leading players, new players, licensing/collaboration opportunities, most active geographies in research, potential market determined by significant players, white-space areas, the legal status of patents/applications, product, and regulatory information as well as a timeline-based comparison of different technologies in the domain to determine obsolete and upcoming areas/technologies, etc.
Given the above benefits of landscape analysis, it can play a significant role in creating quality innovations and IP. For instance, a well-prepared IP landscape on filings done by leading watch manufacturers across the globe can enable the design team of any watch manufacturer to identify ideas that are patent/IP worthy and submit those ideas for the IP mandate provided by their management. Essentially, such precise landscapes reveal a list of patentable ideas/inventions that are usually discarded due to unnecessary doubts by the design teams.
Timely recognizing such ideas/inventions and taking appropriate actions such as building
strategies to transform ideas into successful products or filing for patents can strengthen their R&D and IP portfolio, respectively.
To conclude, the use of analytics (such as a patent landscape) significantly improves business decision-making as well as helps in focusing the efforts in the right direction while accelerating the research output. Basic patent landscaping analytics studies can be performed by researchers/business leaders themselves on platforms like www.lens.org, and if the projects are critical and/or business is seeking to develop a proper innovation management process in their organization – they must seek professional assistance to really elevate their output.