Competency Group: Business
Description: Patent mapping is a graphical method of visualizing patent data. The purpose of graphically modeling this data is to help companies to identify the patents that are particularly relevant to the technology that they are involved in. It also helps to identify the relationship between these patents and identify if there are any places that they might be in infringement. There is an over arching subject which incorporates information portrayal about patents called patinformatics. It is defined as "the science of analyzing information to discover relationships and trends that would be difficult to see when working with patent documents on a one-to-one basis".
Citation for Description: Patent map. (2011). Retrieved from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_mapping.
Units: Visual display of patent data
Advantages: This process highlights the possible links between existing technologies and where new ideas are patentable. It is a process essential to ensure that no patent infringement has occurred.
Limitations: This process needs to be very thorough and therefore is very time consuming.
Target Audience: Top management, Marketing, R&D
Relevant to Universal Design: No
Stages and Steps: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3
Free Resource: Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation. (2000). Guide book for Practical Use of patent map for each technology field. Retrieved from http://thaimoodle.net/pdf/patent_map_JPO.pdf.
Free Resource: Singh, V., K. (2010). Patent Analysis, Mapping, and Visualization Tools. Retrieved from http://wiki.piug.org/display/PIUG/Patent+Analysis,+Mapping,+and+Visualization+Tools.