How Patent Landscape Analysis Can Help You Enhance Your R&D Strategy

For any entity – be it a corporation, research institute, university or an individual scientist; research and development (R&D) serves as a crucial step before an informed decision can be made. The R&D process involves various levels such as problem identification, ideating on solutions, technical advancements over a period of time, amongst other factors. It is therefore imperative that the researchers or developers have certainty on the direction they pursue, before spending time and money on a technology/product.

Various factors come into play while strategizing R&D efforts, as well as in deciding the R&D investment. Crucial ones are:

  • Status of existing technology in the market – direction, relevance, etc.
  • Scope of advancement of a given technology – whether an explored area or white space.
  • Existing competition and ways to counter it.
  • Identification of new entrants in the market (new technology/new players buying or using existing technology)
  • Country based trends that are pertaining to specific markets and regulations (license, contracts, approvals, etc.)
  • Prospects for partnerships/licensing/joint ventures (specifically in cases of niche technology.)
  • Monitoring a technology for a continuous period of time to understand trends in filing, prosecution, scope of such technology for patent grant (by understanding legal status/trends in grants.)
  • Market/commercialization prospects of a technology.
  • Geographical trends of a technology. 

Patent Landscape Analysis precisely addresses these concerns by identifying a set of references relevant to the technology. This is useful in determining the areas where R&D efforts can be directed.

What is a Patent Landscape Analysis

Patent Landscape Analysis is understanding the entire landscape of a technology domain. It is a step-by-step process wherein information from a set of patents is mapped or bucketed into various categories. By using relevant database, information (search) is extracted and analysed manually, to provide expert insights into technologies that inspire innovations and products.

The patent data is captured using various keywords specific to the technology, application areas, as well as class-based strategies. It uncovers crucial information, some of which include:

  • The type of patents that have been filed;
  • The direction in which the domain is going;
  • What has already been explored and where is the white space;
  • It also analyses the patents, categorizes them, as well as buckets them into different aspects or segments. An example for this step would be the case of a pharmaceutical formulation, wherein a landscape search captures all patents related to the technology. At the time of analysis, the patents are categorized or bucketed into different aspects – depending on composition type, excipients, route of administration (e.g. injectable or oral), form or type of drug – (e.g. liquid or tablet), and types of diseases that it treats.

How Patent Landscape Analysis Works

The insights provided by a landscape analysis uncovers the hot-spots according to region, players, competition, market, direction of current technology, restricted areas for patent/product launch, and prospects for business/licensing.

The patents can be captured by various keywords (on technology, application areas, etc.) and class-based strategies. Search strategy may further include patents from specific assignees, inventors and citations of the identified patents. Search parameters can also be customized based on client specific requirements.

While analyzing, the captured patents are categorized under various criteria and this stage gives a general idea of what exists in the current state-of-art. Based on areas of interest, such patents can be further analysed to extract information related to required taxonomy (Level-1, Level-2 or Level-3).

This information points to details of invention in the current state-of-art, which can help researchers/developers to draw overlaps/differences with their own technology. This information is often represented as a collective analysis of categorized patents in a tabular format.

Landscape Analysis – Insights

Landscape analysis is usually depicted in a graphical format which displays a timeline trend – further segregating different assignees, major markets, etc. Apart from giving a picture of the most noticeable technology trends, other influencing factors are also identified in the landscape:

  • Top players in the technical area of interest (broad or niche segment).
  • New Entrants in the technical area of interest and identifying any licensing/collaboration opportunity.
  • Geographies with priority filings (that provides an idea of research facilities in the regions).
  • Geographies with maximum publications (where the applicants would like to market their technology).
  • Top scientists/researchers for the technical area of interest. Identify researchers or inventors who are working in a particular domain. This is crucial as part of an R&D strategy to hire/ collaborate with the best scientists/researchers.
  • Application area of technology corresponding to applicant/geography.
  • White-space areas: Information of new technology provides opportunities for acquisitions or incorporation to improve an existing technology. One can also direct R&D towards the unexplored technological areas. For instance, to identify if a drug can be used to cure other diseases.
  • Technology classes with major research.
  • Claim focus of patents/applications of interest (process/product/use, etc.). This helps to determine the legal scope of such patents.
  • Legal Status of patents/applications of interest (to understand if the technology is getting a grant, or if a granted technology has active patents or is free to use if the patents have expired).
  • Any other parallels drawn between identified technology trends and applicants: such as filing timelines with respect to major applicants, top countries, trends in expiry (to identify free use of patented technology).
  • As per the client requirements, additional information related to products in the market, regulations may also be identified in the landscape study.
  • A timeline-based comparison of various technologies in the domain helps to identify what areas/technologies have been obsolete and ones that are upcoming.

Why Choose Sagacious IP?

Sagacious IP has curated a team of highly skilled professionals who are adept in providing clients with a landscape analysis as per the objective. The team is able to offer custom-based searches that are fine tuned to also perform non-patent searches for insights on market penetration and relevant products. Using a detailed information pool to extract information, clients can mould data and derive insights according to the objective. We also provide a visualization dashboard that can help the client in slicing and dicing the data and obtain insightful information as per their needs.

Download our Case Study on Landscape Analysis that sheds light on our expertise.

– The Life Sciences and Editorial Team

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