Choosing intellectual property search and analysis software is daunting. Start by determining what your organisation needs, to ensure whichever solution you choose supports your goals.  To ease the selection process, we’ve identified seven factors and the best questions to ask providers to determine the best IP search and analytics software for you.

1. Data Coverage: The Foundation for All IP Analysis

A database that includes a breadth of data types where the data is also correlated, will illuminate a patent’s (or portfolio’s) story from beginning to end. This level of data coverage and connectivity allows you to skip many steps and go straight to finding insights.

Ask software providers:

  • What data is included with the software?
  • Is there a charge for additional data?
  • Is the data correlated in a way that connects all the important elements?

Read more about the importance both breadth and depth of your IP database.

2. Data Accuracy: Corrected, Error-Free Data

Accurate, reliable data is paramount to making the best IP decisions. You shouldn’t have to spend time manually correcting inaccurate data, or worse, making poor — even devastating — business decisions based on faulty or missing data. As a valuable resource, your time should be spent producing analysis you can be confident in.

Ask software providers:

  • How do they ensure the accuracy of their data?
  • If I find an error, how do I ensure it gets fixed?

3. Accessibility of Data: The Right Data When You Need It

Keyword, Boolean, metadata or semantic search are all powerful methodologies for accessing the data you need for your analysis.

But each vendor may implement them differently. If, for example, a vendor assures you it has semantic search capabilities, ask whether this is truly a contextual search or if it’s a series of like keywords that are used. The latter could cause you to miss relevant documents due to unique language used.

Ask software providers:

  • Which search methodologies are offered?
  • Can I edit my search on the fly or do I need to start over?
  • Can I easily search across my own portfolio?
  • Can I combine search methodologies for an orthogonal range search?
  • Can I run a search and then search within the search or do I need to start again?

4. Visualisations: Finding Insights in Search Results

Once you’ve performed a search and filtered down to a relevant data set, quickly looking at the results in a variety of ways and using visuals to find unique insights is where the value of the patent search and analysis software is proven.

Ask software providers:

  • What visuals and analysis capabilities are available?
  • Can I export visuals and underlying data? What formats are available?

5. Reporting: Share Insights with Various Stakeholders

Once you’re certain you can get the search results you need, think about how you present your findings. Effective communication means tailoring your results to each group of stakeholders in a way they can clearly understand.

Ask software providers:

  • How can I share my analysis and findings with my stakeholders?
  • Does the software include dashboard templates?
  • Can I customise the visuals to match my brand and color palette?


6. Software Usability: Accelerating Your Analysis 

Unnecessary clicks, poor interfaces, and hidden features can frustrate users and affect your overall experience. Easy-to-use patent analysis software allows users to get more reliable answers and value from the software faster.

Ask software providers:

  • How many steps are involved in a basic analysis workflow?
  • Is the software able to support both power and occasional users?
  • What onboarding and training is available?
  • How fast does the software produce results?

7. Service Quality: Cultivating the Partnership 

The quality of support a provider gives during the transition and onboarding phase can make a world of difference in your success. Some vendors just sell systems, others build partnerships that help customers in their broader IP goals.

Ask software providers:

  • How do you support customers after a sale?
  • What ongoing training do you provide?
  • Who can I call when I need help?


Pulling it all Together: Rankings and Ratings

Review the areas we have outlined and prioritise each category based on what matters most to your business. Rate each of the patent analysis software options, and score them against your priorities. For the most important factors, find ways to get proof points from the vendor. This may include contacting customer references or conducting a proof of concept and actually using the product for a couple of weeks.

Bottom line: Choose the Best Partner

With the power of patent analysis, you can spot important trends, minimise litigation, guide research, build portfolios, and make sound business decisions. From free or low-cost search tools to savvy IP intelligence software, your choice of partner (and software) is worth your time and research.

Learn more about CPA Global’s Innography IP Intelligence Software.

Get the full IP Search and Analysis Software Buyer’s Guide and Scoring Matrix.