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Thomson Reuters Releases Annual State of Innovation Patent Analysis Report and Website

Thomson Reuters Releases Annual State of Innovation Patent Analysis Report and Website

There are a handful of annual reports covering the state of patent analytics that I look forward to seeing on a yearly basis. Normally, I tweet about these once they’re released, but I don’t necessarily devote an entire blog post to them. In the case of the 2015 State of Innovation report from Thomson Reuters I am making an exception since this year they have taken the publication to a whole new level.

Traditionally, while the State of Innovation report has always covered 12 major technology-based industries, Thompson Reuters would only go into detail on two, or three of them. For 2015 however, all 12 fields are covered in depth with feature articles discussing the major trends, and occurrences within each one. Coverage of the major innovators, by region is also provided for each industry.

For instance, earlier this year Thompson Reuters produced an in-depth look at the automotive industry that discussed the rise of Hyundai, and the increases in its patenting activity. The report predicted that the patenting output from Hyundai would continue to rise. In the 2015 State of Innovation report Hyundai has indeed jumped into second, and is only slightly behind Toyota for the number of invention families published in 2014 in the area. This is just one of the many insights provided both individually, and collectively for the development of new technologies published in patents in the past year.

Developing this level of detail on so many industries is indeed an enormous undertaking making this year’s State of Innovation publication perhaps the most comprehensive patent analysis report available. All told many hundreds of thousands of invention families were categorized, and studied to come up with the insights provided in this report. It provides an all encompassing, and global perspective on the progress of recent inventive production.

Looking at the topic of innovation from such a broad perspective allowed the analysts at Thomson Reuters to discover that while the number of inventive families published in 2014 was greater than any previous year in history, the rate at which new inventions are being developed has begun to slow. The report discusses which industries are continuing to grow, and which have started to tail off.

In addition to a greatly expanded published report, new this year is, a website companion that provides even more detail on the different sections of the publication covering the individual industries. Moving forward this website will also be the one stop shop for the research, and analytics generated by the Intellectual Property and Science business of Thomson Reuters. The website is interactive, and designed to feature the human elements associated with technology, and how they are changing the way we live.

Additional details on the 2015 State of Innovation report can be found in the press release below:

Thomson Reuters analysis shows concerning trend for global innovation

Company launches authoritative new web destination featuring industry insights and trends

ALEXANDRIA, VA, USA, MAY 26, 2015 – The Intellectual Property (IP) & Science business of Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading provider of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, announced the launch of its State of Innovation website: This is a global destination for authoritative innovation trend data and industry-specific insights focusing on the Lifecycle of Innovation and showcasing the iterative process of discovering, protecting and commercializing ideas.

“Innovation is at the heart of the global economy.  It is the lifeblood of business, but it’s difficult to measure,” said Basil Moftah, president, Thomson Reuters IP & Science.  “By dissecting innovation to its core components – the scientific research that informs initial discovery and the patents that protect and commercialize new ideas – we can begin to identify important trends that influence the future of the global economy.” is the new, central destination for authoritative insights into the world of innovation, including the annual Top 100 Global Innovators and Citation Laureates. The launch of this website features findings from the business’s latest research: The Future Is Open: 2015 State of Innovation, an analysis of global scientific literature and patent data across 12 technology areas. It shows that although overall patent activity has reached an all-time high, year-over-year growth in new inventions has slowed considerably and scientific literature production has declined in almost every industry.

“The State of Innovation offers a unique view into the business of innovation building upon our leading position as a provider of intelligent information,” said Elise Finn, chief marketing officer, Thomson Reuters IP & Science. “We have created this new go-to destination and credible source of comment and insight for anyone with an interest in the world of innovation.”

The Future Is Open: 2015 State of Innovation  examines fundamental research and patent activity worldwide across: Aerospace & Defense; Automotive; Biotechnology; Cosmetics & Well-Being; Food, Beverages & Tobacco; Home Appliances;  Information Technology; Medical Devices; Oil & Gas; Pharmaceuticals; Semiconductors; and Telecommunications.  Thomson Reuters analysts scrutinized five years of global patent and scientific literature data, outlining the top companies, research institutions and technology areas producing the highest volume of innovation.

Key findings from the 2015 State of Innovation include:

  • Year-Over-Year Innovation Growth Slows: Total, worldwide patent volume increased just 3 percent over the last year, the slowest rate of patent volume growth since the end of the global recession in 2009.  The total volume of new scientific research decreased 34 percent over the same period.  The largest declines in patent and scientific research volume were in the Semiconductor industry.
  • Overall Patent Volume Reaches New High: Despite the slowdown in year-over-year growth rate, total, worldwide patent volume has reached a record high, with over 2.1 million unique inventions published over the last year.  The industries showing the largest growth in patent volume were Food, Beverages & Tobacco (21 percent); Pharmaceuticals (12 percent); Cosmetics & Well-Being (8 percent); and Biotechnology (7 percent).
  • Businesses Embrace “Open Innovation”: Across virtually every industry studied, the trend toward “open innovation,” whereby companies partner with academic institutions, individual researchers and other companies (in some cases, even competitors) has been on visible display.  Samsung, for example, has moved to aggressively partner with academic institutions in the development of semiconductor technologies, filing 129.1 of every 10,000 patent filings in this space jointly with an academic institution.
  • Traditional Industry Lines Blur: Driven largely by the rise of the Internet of Things, the traditional boundaries between industries and companies’ areas of specialization have continued to blur.  Dozens of companies featured in the study, such as Apple, Du Pont, General Electric, IBM, and Samsung, appear among the top patent assignees in multiple industries outside of their core areas of focus.  Samsung is the most extreme example, ranking among the top 25 patent assignees in nine of the 12 industries analyzed in the study.
“We are standing at a fascinating inflection point in the history of technological innovation,” added Moftah.  “The organizations in this study clearly recognize the challenges inherent in continuing to break new ground at the pace they’ve maintained for the last several years. They’re taking clear strides, with strategies such as open innovation and aggressive expansion into new industries, to try to achieve even faster, better results.”

Data in the 2015 State of Innovation was compiled using Thomson Reuters Derwent World Patents Index, Web of Science and Eikon.

Visit State of Innovation and view The Future is Open: 2015 State of Innovation.

The Future is Open – the 2015 State of Innovation report provides a sweeping review of the world of technological advancement, and is one of the most ambitious patent analytics projects undertaken to date. The report is well worth reading, and the corresponding website provides additional context on any of the industries that the reader would like to explore further.

Disclosure: I can personally attest to the comprehensiveness of this report since I played a small part in its production.

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