Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New Patent Mapping System Helps find Innovation Pathways

www.sciencedaily.com  January 14, 2014

What's likely to be the "next big thing?" What might be the most fertile areas for innovation? Where should countries and companies invest their limited research funds? What technology areas are a company's competitors pursuing?  To help answer those questions, researchers, policy-makers and R&D directors study patent maps, which provide a visual representation of where universities, companies and other organizations are protecting intellectual property produced by their research. But finding real trends in these maps can be difficult because categories with large numbers of patents - pharmaceuticals, for instance - are usually treated the same as areas with few patents. 

Now, a new patent mapping system that considers how patents cite one another may help researchers better understand the relation ships between technologyies - and how they may come together to spur disruptive new areas of innovation. The system which also categorizes patents in a new way, was produced by team of researchers from  three universities and an Atlanta-based producer of data-mining software.