If one considers how much information is now available in an instant through online sources, one may conclude that identifying unseen trends has become much easier than it previously was in the pre-Internet age. The cost of information as data has been reduced and replaced with knowledge and insight. However, did information really become cheaper? Or, did someone just spill millions of puzzle pieces in front of us that may or may not belong to the situation that we are trying to understand? Well, the answer is yes and no. The reason for this lies in the fact that what we used to call “valuable information” is not the same as the vast information (including disinformation and misinformation) that we have available at present. Matt Price, a Competitive Intelligence professional, sums the situation up well.
For hundreds of years, one of the central planks of a decent education was being taught how to find information. In barely a half-dozen years, the internet has made this skill all but obsolete. Suddenly, it’s sorting information that’s become crucial – learning to identify flecks of gold among the hectares of [dung]. Critical, sceptical, analytical thinking has never been more important.
Okay. So you’re a sharp individual, a veteran in your field with an impressive list of successes that occurred under your charge, why would you want to hire an IP management consultant to analyze your business, patent portfolio, and IP strategy? Simple answer – the part that the quote above leaves out is that the scale and scope of available information (unstructured at that) have made it a daunting task for any individual, or even a team. Sophisticated patent search and patent analysis capabilities have made such activities somewhat more manageable, but still a challenge.
Case in point, just imagine performing a patent search of all the databases of the various patent offices using some well-chosen search terms to produce a result set of about 20,000 patent documents, whittling that down to about 5,000 references relevant to your portfolio through cursory patent analysis, and going through the remaining 5,000 (without discarding any because, after all, they were identified as relevant) to position them in relational proximity to each other (based on multiple criteria). Not so hard, right? Well, it is a reasonable challenge (albeit intimidating) if one has access to advanced analytical tools, is an expert on how to exploit their capabilities, and has the resources to invest in such an undertaking.
Searching unstructured data complicates common data-mining approaches even after “big data” issues have been dealt with. Useful, reliable, and reproducible text-mining strategies (sometimes called knowledge mining) have become much sought-after goals for many search-engine providers. Patents can be considered even harder to mine than other forms of unstructured data due to the rich complexity of implicit and inherent knowledge imbued in such documents.
FlashPoint IP has developed a core competency in the area of IP analytics and patent mining using premium, partner system platforms that specialize in advanced patent-search and patent-analysis tools. FPIP’s strengths in performing advanced semantic-search queries of patent databases as part of our IP services is an entry-point offering for our IP-analytics capabilities. Beyond this, FPIP can map IP portfolios across various technology value chains to assess commercial, technical, legal, or strategic value in promoting growth of a business.
FlashPoint IP, a leader among intellectual property firms, endeavors in this regard to provide an enlightened perspective for its clients to move forward with business ventures with the assurance of being well-informed. FPIP strives to implement a unified framework , using patent search and patent analysis in a business context, for predictably mapping technology into tailored business scenarios via the FPIP CI Suite. Our engagement managers are adept at synthesizing the many facets needed to create a winning formula for your IP. Contact us to discuss your options regarding IP strategy and positioning, and how best to advance your business interests.