Patent Landscaping

What you need to know

Undertaking a patent landscape may help a company to obtain intelligence on their competitors’ patent activity. As patents are generally only filed for inventions that are perceived to be commercially valuable, an analysis of the patents filed by others can provide an insight into their strategy and the product development areas in which they are currently active.

A patent landscape can also help companies to identify new areas for research and development, for example by attempting to identify the ‘white space’ in a particular field of technology in which the number of patent filings may be relatively low and which may open up new avenues for research and development.

How we can help

The task of performing a patent landscape usually starts with defining an overall commercial objective and identifying the area of technology that needs to be considered. A patent search aimed at finding patents relevant to that technology is performed using a combination of keywords and patent classifications and citation and patent family analysis used to show relationships between patents and patent owners. The results are then grouped or clustered in a meaningful way, i.e. by owner, by patent families or by a particular class or sub-class of technology. For example, a patent landscape report in the area of flat-panel display patents might cluster patents into the type of display that includes groups and sub-groups; the set of display patents may include a grouping of light emitting diode (LED) displays, and a sub-group may include a group of organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays. The grouped patents may further be grouped by owner, country of origin and filing date. This grouping and sub-grouping can help uncover overall trends in the patent data that can reveal potentially helpful information relating to an area of technology or the patent activity of a competitor.

We will produce a patent landscape report which normally includes spreadsheets, graphs and other visual representations to demonstrate major filing trends and to identify leading patent applicants in a particular field of technology or geographical area. Our attorneys have experience in the field of patent landscaping and are able to provide strategic and commercially relevant advice in this area.