Intellectual Property (IP) management cannot be successfully implemented without an understanding of the future challenges facing IP. Big data analysis has resulted in IP portfolios being recognised as genuine business assets with generating revenue and profitable products and services.  Chief IP officers that embrace the opportunities afforded by big data analysis will be able to ensure their IP portfolios contribute to the company’s bottom line. Is your company missing out on valuable data insight?

The big deal with big data

Patent data is uniquely suited for big data tools and techniques, and with millions of new patent documents and updates made public each week, a tremendous amount of intelligence can be gained from how other companies are generating and securing their IP.   What can you learn? Big data is often used to analyse and predict the behaviours of industry competitors.

Tyron Stading, President and Founder of Innography, a CPA Global company, says: “Chief IP officers should be able to offer strategic direction to the business around key board level questions, such as: ‘how do we compare to our competitors in terms of core technology?’ ‘are we behind or ahead in our key areas of technology?’ and ‘where should we invest in the future to continue to grow?’”

Big data and the future of IP

Big data has already effected the current practice of IP management, its wealth of data has the potential to inform business strategy and board room decisions.  However, big data is also directly influencing the future of businesses.  Technologies have been developed to help analyse large volumes of data and derive actionable insight including cloud computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Tyron says, “Knowing where innovation is taking place, and which companies or individuals are most active, enables companies to plan future product direction more effectively.”

Increasing IP efficiencies

By shaping company futures through improved business decisions, big data is also having an effect on the future of IP.  Tyron has identified a significant increase in forward-thinking companies deploying predictive analytics in a number of innovative ways:

“Consider a company reviewing patents due for renewal. By identifying the revenues that each patent has generated against the cost of protection, it is simple to make an informed decision. Predictive analytics, however, can identify both internal and external information to evaluate the patent’s strength and relevance.”

Some corporations are using these technologies to provide an overview of attorney performance such as win and loss ratios or to predict patent office actions and prosecution analysis, as Tyron explains: “Eighty percent of budgets go to filing and prosecution, so the ability to remove low probability filing and increase higher probabilities can help ensure a more successful use of budgets. Another application is in ensuring the validity of data.”

He adds, “Even today information is often input manually, making it vulnerable to human error. For example, in the US Patent and Trademark Office data there are more than 800 different ways that ‘International Business Machines’ is spelt in patent grants. Artificial intelligence facilitates the cleansing of this data efficiently, which vastly improves communications with patent offices worldwide.”

At a time when innovation is fast-paced and patent filings have hit an all-time high, big data analysis has the potential to provide valuable insight quickly and efficiently, significantly reducing the workload of over-stretched IP departments.  Chief IP officers will have the time to take on more strategic roles within the organisations.

The future of IP is now

Big data, and the technology available for analysis, is a fast-emerging trend in the future of IP, but it can be implemented and utilised now. The use of big data at key points in the IP lifecycle could be the difference between making a risky, ultimately costly, business decision and moving your company into thriving industry sectors – leaving uninformed competitors behind.