For those of you who have visited my home page over the past few years you will have noticed in the introductory comments that I have been assisting the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) with their ongoing efforts to support the development of patent analytics, and patent landscape reports. Up until recently I mentioned that a draft copy of “Guidelines for Preparing Patent Landscape Reports” was available to the participants of the inter-regional workshops for patent analytics that were held in Rio de Janeiro and Manilla in 2013. I am now happy to report that the final version of the guidelines have been released by WIPO, and are freely available to anyone who would like to download a copy of the document.
The Guidelines can be accessed directly by clicking on this link – http://www.wipo.int/edocs/pubdocs/en/wipo_pub_946.pdf, or for some context you can access the document from the WIPO Patent Landscape Reports page. The Guidelines contains sections on the following topics:
For some additional thoughts on the importance of patent analytics, and landscape reports the Executive Summary from the Guidelines is provided below:
Patent Landscape Reports (PLRs) support informed decision-making, and are designed to efficiently address the concerns associated with making high stakes decisions in various areas of technology, increasing the related degree of confidence. For many years decision-makers operated based on personal networks and intuition. With the institution of patent analytics, and PLRs, it is possible for these critical decisions to be made with data-driven, evidence-based approaches that deliver informed choices, and mitigate the associated to the decision risks.
The insight gained from the preparation of a patent landscape report can be applied to almost any organization engaged in the evaluation of technology, and its impact on society. Government agencies, as well as private enterprise can gain valuable perspective on a developing, or well- established field by generating a PLR.
As an example, PLRs can be used as instruments to inform public policy makers in strategic decisions to related to R&D investment, prioritization, technology transfer or local manufacturing. Patent information can and is increasingly being used as a tool to inform public policy: Policymakers who deal with innovation have increasingly focused on the patent system. They look for clearer, more accessible and geographically more representative information to support key policy processes. They seek a stronger empirical basis for their assessments on the role and impact of the patent system in relation to key areas.
While PLR are undoubtedly useful instruments for informed decision-making, producing one can be a time-intensive and expensive process. An organization willing to devote the resources necessary to generate a PLR often does so when they are preparing to make a significant monetary or headcount investment in developing or moving into a technology area. It is critically important to make certain that a PLR is prepared properly in order to ensure that the insight it provides is accurate, and directed towards the key issues associated with technological implementation.
This document provides details on the stages required for the preparation of a PLR. It is provided as a means for instructing new practitioners on the steps required in generating a PLR, but it is also useful for recipients of PLRs having such reports produced for them in-house or by third-party service providers. It is also hoped that providing a template for the preparations of PLRs will help continue the development of standards, and best practices that can be used, and built upon by the patent analysis community.
By understanding the processes involved in preparing a PLR all of the varied stakeholders, providers, and users of the information they contain will have a better understanding of what can be expected from a PLR, and how many resources will need to be involved in its creation.
The 130 page document is being made freely available to assist with the international effort to increase proficiency, and standardization when performing patent analytics. It is a pleasure to be able to make this resource available to the public, and I would like to thank all of the people at WIPO who made the publication of this resource possible.