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- About PatentSight
The Patent Asset Index of a patent portfolio is defined as the aggregate strength of all the patents the portfolio contains. The strength of each individual patent is measured by its Competitive Impact. The PatentSight® Competitive Impact consists of two dimensions: PatentSight® Technology Relevance and PatentSight® Market Coverage.
PatentSight® Technology Relevance is based on forward citations. Patent offices investigate all patent applications to reveal on which prior patents new inventions are based. If a patent is of significance for the technical development in a field, subsequent patents will build on it and patent offices will frequently cite it as prior art.
Technology Relevance measures whether a patent has been more often cited than other patents from the same technology field and year. The total number of patent citations received not only depends on the relevance of the patented invention, but also on the time that has passed since the patent was published. Patents only recently published tend to have received much less citations than older patents. The time-dependency of citations is corrected by dividing the number of citations received by a patent by the average number of citations received by all patents published in the same year.
Technology Relevance also considers that international patent offices follow different citation rules.
The Market Coverage indicates the size of the global market which is protected by a patent family. An invention has a higher business value if the patent rights cover more international markets. The Market Coverage is measured as the size of the markets in which a patent family is protected benchmarked to the world's largest national market – the USA. In this context, the gross national income (GNI) of a country is used as a proxy for the relative size of each national market . A Market Coverage of 2 means that the protected markets are, in total, twice as large as the US-market alone.
Thus, the scope of international patent protection is an important indicator of patent value. Market Coverage is calculated based on granted and pending, hence valid patents per country adjusted for each market’s size. The size of each market is estimated using the countries’ gross national incomes relative to the US gross national income as the largest global economy.
The economic value of the patents as measured by its Technology Relevance and Market Coverage. PatentSight® Competitive Impact is stated relative to the other patents in the same field (e.g. a value of three means that the patent is three times as important as the average patent in the field).
The Patent Asset Index represents a measure for the innovative strength of an enterprise or an entire technology field. It is calculated at the level of a patent portfolio as the sum of the Competitive ImpactTM scores of the individual patent families contained in this portfolio.
Depending on the question to be addressed, the Patent Asset Index can be calculated for a company as a whole, or just for patents belonging to specific business areas or technology fields. In this case, it shows the strength of the company in those particular domains only.
The patent databases INPADOC and DOCDB provided by the European Patent Office (EPO) are the central patent data sources for the PatentSight database. Furthermore, we add legal status information from national offices (US and JP) to the data stream as well as subsidiary information from corporate structure databases. In addition, all patent offices around the world provide their patent data with the EPO, so we cover all relevant patent data worldwide. The PatentSight database currently covers patent data from more than 80 patent authorities.
Since PatentSight is part of LexisNexis®, our database also contains IP DataDirect (IPDD). IPDD from LexisNexis provides worldwide patent information in bulk. The entire IPDD content with improved bibliographic and legal status information will be integrated into the PatentSight database by the end of 2021.
PatentSight uses the simple family concept of the European Patent Office (EPO) also known as S-Fam or Espacenet family. This family concept requires that all family members are based on an identical set of priority documents. This ensures that all the family members cover the same invention. This is also an advantage over the INPADOC family: patent documents in an INPADOC family can have only partially overlapping priorities, thus putting documents together in a chain-like manner that in the end have only little in common. These families might become so broad in the different types of inventions that they cover, that they are not helpful for technology benchmarking purposes anymore.
Additional information regarding the simple family definition is available on the website of the EPO.
To evaluate the current strength of a patent portfolio or identify the relevant IP of a company only active patent families should be taken into account. The inactive ones are mostly not of interest, though they can also be included. The main data source for the legal event information is the INPADOC database, which is updated on a weekly basis.
We carefully interpret the various event codes to determine the legal status of the documents in a family at each given point in time. In the next step, we aggregate the legal status information per document on the patent family level using sophisticated heuristics.
The heuristics applied for the interpretation have been developed and implemented in close cooperation with well-known legal status experts from industry and patent offices. Currently, further national registers are being evaluated to be included as primary sources of legal status information in the future.
For the correct evaluation of patent portfolios, it is crucial to know the current owner of a patent family, which can be quite difficult. There are many different applicant names a company uses to file a patent, which can include misspelling and translation errors. In addition, tracking patent ownership over time is intricate: companies merge, change their names, sell and acquire business units, sell and buy patents, etc. Identifying the current owner of all relevant patents requires substantial effort, which is not possible by computer algorithms alone. Specific expert research is required to accurately track patent ownership over time for each individual company.
PatentSight identifies patent ownership based on extensive research on corporate structure, M&A, spin-offs, company name changes, patent transactions amongst others. In doing so, PatentSight contains company structures including all domestic and foreign subsidiaries, joint ventures and group companies. The harmonized ultimate owner also includes former names of the company itself or any of its subsidiaries. The assumption is that usually, the parent company (ultimate owner) has control over patents of a subsidiary or an affiliate company.
To guarantee the reliability of analyses based on the Patent Asset Index, PatentSight maintains a high quality database. Our patent data is harmonized and integrated from more than 90 patent offices and complementary sources that include a range of relevant information such as litigation activity, technical standards, medical uses etc.
Our data quality is achieved by employing a combined software- and human research-based process to curate, harmonize and integrate the data. Continuous data validation studies with our clients show that the database we maintain reliably identifies all worldwide patents on the same invention and that we determine the actual current owner and legal status of each patent with exceptional precision.
The Patent Asset Index methodology is based on many years of scientific research and validation studies. It is published in an academic journal for review (Ernst and Omland, 2011). It was concluded in the study that patents with high Competitive Impacts do in fact possess higher values when compared to a randomly chosen control group of patents.
As stated above, the indicators may be calculated for any selected group of patents, for e.g., single patents, a firm's patents belonging to single business units, an entire firm's portfolio, multiple firms’ portfolios, patents from entire technological fields or countries or defined by any other criteria for selection.
Based on the Patent Asset Index, PatentSight offers a Business Intelligence solution that helps board members, investors, portfolio managers, technology scouts, patent professionals and other stakeholders to understand and increase the value of patent portfolios and to uncover trends and disruptive innovation worldwide.
PatentSight’s solutions are used for strategic and operational decision making by leading companies in chemicals, telecommunication, auto-motive, electronics, mechanical engineering, food processing, logistics and other industries.
It has also been used by the European Commission to validate merger cases, such as the landmark merger between Dow and DuPont in 2017.
Learn more about the various real-world application possibilities of the Patent Asset Index in our sections below.
The Patent Asset Index allows you to identify leading or even disruptive technologies from the plethora of patents out there. This holds true irrespective of whether you are analyzing a mature technology field, dominated by multinationals, or an emerging space pioneered by start-ups. You can spot a small start-up with a disruptive innovation early on ‒ even if dozens of other players apply for many more patents in the same space.
What if it was possible to spot disruptive trends early on, to better prepare to capitalize on market shifts?
Reveal insights into any patent portfolio
Industry leaders trust PatentSight to illustrate the strength of their patent portfolios in annual shareholder reports and other stakeholder communications.
We go far and beyond to deliver tailor made solutions that instantly add value