Patent Legal Status Data as a Tool for Analysis

Legal status data is the information that is part of the patent document, provided by patent owners and patent office, which helps with learning the insights and value of a patent. Legal data contains all data related to legal events or actions as defined by the respective patent law and regulations of a particular jurisdiction. Understanding the structure of patent documents and data fields is the essential foundation of patent analytics.

Legal data generally has no standard taxonomy and varies with type of patent system. The primary sources of legal status data are patent gazettes/bulletins and patent registers. Further major patent databases provide INPADOC Legal Status file, which contains data from 50+ countries.

Legal status data of a patent is an instrument by which one could analyze an industry to discover which technologies are most relevant currently; which companies are investing or involved in a particular sector; and further which companies or inventors are collaborating, competing, etc. Some of the possible metrics which are used in patent legal data analysis, particular for deriving patent valuation, are discussed below:

  • Patent Cost Data:

The legal data may be analyzed to understand how much money the patent owner may have spent to keep a patent in force. In general, the more money spent on a patent, the more valuable the patent for its patent owner, and thus its possible value to the industry. Such cost data may be estimated by using, involved attorney’s fee, patent maintenance fee payment data, foreign filing fee payment data, etc.

  • Patent Family Data:

As patent is a territorial tight, often patents for a single invention are filed in multiple jurisdictions. As patent filing and prosecution in each jurisdiction involves cost, companies are selective about in which all jurisdictions to file patents for a particular invention. This family data of a patent may be analyzed to estimate the importance of the corresponding invention to a business strategy of the owner company. That is, if an invention is valuable to a company, then it is possible that patent for the same will be filed not only in the country where it was invented, but in every country where it can be monetized in some manner.

  • Patent Assignment Data:

Many times, the ownership of a patent is assigned to a company employing the inventor or to one who has invested in the development of the invention. Further, with the sale of a patent, the assignment changes. These assignments are recorded and are made available to public by most patent offices. An analysis of the assignment data may help to identify companies which hold a significant portfolio in a particular sector and also helps to determine valuation of such portfolios, in aggregate.

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