Trying Out a Tool That Makes Patent Searches a Snap

When it comes to developing and sustaining innovation, keeping a close eye on intellectual property—both your company’s and that of potential competitors and collaborators—is critical. As part of our Big Data for business analytics work, CIMS is continually stressing the importance of researching the patent landscape. Such research can help R&D teams decide which opportunities to pursue and which to avoid or put on the back burner. But doing patent searches, especially global ones, is time consuming and labor intensive.

Enter PatSnap, a subscription-based service that bills itself as a search engine for global patent information. We’ve been partnering with PatSnap for the past year or so to help give our clients the most accurate, up-to-date information on the patent landscape. The company’s robust search capabilities, expert analysis and unique display interface—which presents as a landscape with mountains and valleys to indicate where work is being concentrated and where there are gaps—makes it a nice complement to the text analytics platform that we’ve developed to help provide companies with the industry and customer information they need to make key decisions.

PatSnap was founded in 2007 and is based in Singapore. Today it has more than 500 clients. A quote from its founder, Jeffrey Tiong, illustrates its positioning: “PatSnap started out of one dream – to become the ‘Amazon’ of Innovation, providing a platform to accelerate the speed of innovation and discovery for inventors, research institutes and companies.” (Source: Kungpao TV website, 9/1/2014). I was pleased to do a presentation on CIMS’ work with the PatSnap platform at the recent CIMS meeting. To lend the presentation context, we shared how we’d been using PatSnap to help one of our member companies, the American Coatings Association, who agreed to act as a guinea pig as we learned how to use the tool. For this trial, we helped ACA discover what research and, ultimately, IP was being done around BPA, a chemical used in coatings that’s been identified as a material of “concern” in the industry. The information we gleaned about companies with IP in the area of BPA substitutes will help the association as it continues to focus on threats and opportunities facing its members.

As for CIMS, the long goal is the ability to follow IP info from the early stages and combine this with other data points we gather using our Big Data platform. Our members will find this valuable for competitive intelligence as well as for spotting opportunities for technology acquisition, partnerships and collaboration.

Written By Chad Morris, CIMS Data Scientist

To learn more about the CIMS-PatSnap partnership to make Big Data analytics for business intelligence even more compelling, check out this article that Paul Mugge, CIMS’ Executive Director, recently posted on the PatSnap company blog.

One Response to Trying Out a Tool That Makes Patent Searches a Snap

  1. I would be very interested in using PatSnap if I can access it through NCSU to get information on prior art and potential freedom to operate iin the areas I am considering filing patent disclosures.