What is the role of a patent analyst?

Patents are an increasingly vital part of the global economy. Each year more and more companies file global patents on inventions that in turn generate billions of dollars in revenues. In order to stay competitive, firms that depend on a strong intellectual property portfolio need to maximize the value of their own patents while avoiding potentially costly litigation. This is where having a highly skilled patent analyst on your side can prove invaluable.

Using advanced IP tools to answer your business’ most important questions

The most basic description of a patent analyst is someone who reviews the content of a patent (or patent application) and produces a clear, concise patent summary. This patent summary not only describes the invention, it also incorporates information about any prior art, current and potential uses for the invention, and any litigation or other relevant legal issues. Most patent analysts have special training in a scientific or engineering field – or they are patent agents – although their work often crosses multiple disciplines, including law and marketing.

Indeed, a good patent analyst must do more than simply break down the technical details of an invention. Patent information is one of the most important sources of intelligence available to a business. For companies that achieve their business strategies through research & development (R&D), patent analysis is often the first and most critical form of market research. Among other things, a patent analyst can help your firm answer the following questions:

  • How novel is your invention? What prior art could limit the scope of your patent?

  • What is the potential geographic reach and impact of your patent rights? What countries already have patents in force that may limit your ability to market and profit from your invention?

  • What companies could affect your freedom to operate, or eventually have a possible patent infringement claim against you?

  • Which companies have underutilized patent portfolios that might complement your own?

  • Would these companies be willing to sell their patents to you or participate in a cross-licensing arrangement?

These may be straightforward questions, but producing the answers is rarely easy. You cannot perform a credible patent analysis by doing a two-minute Google search. A patent analyst must apply a variety of methods and techniques to examine data from hundreds or thousands of sources, published anywhere in the world. This is why experienced patent analysts use highly sophisticated tools like Intellar™ dashboards to search over 200 million records related to intellectual property in order to build a comprehensive snapshot of relevant patent trends.

A patent analyst connects your legal, marketing & technology

It is easy to dismiss patent analysis as little more than “data mining” or a dry recitation of technical and legal minutiae. The reality however, is that patent analysts are effectively storytellers. They use data to weave a complex narrative about patent trends and risks.

After all, patent analysis has little use standing on its own. The whole point is to provide guidance to innovative levels of an organization, from the researchers who develop new inventions to the marketing team that need to develop a sales strategy and the legal team who need to negotiate licensing deals. For this reason, patent analysis is not a one-time activity but a dynamic continuous process that evolves along with a company’s intellectual property portfolio.

Ultimately, the goal of patent analysis is to connect with every part of your organization and get everyone working on the same page. In this sense, you need to think of the patent analyst not as someone off working alone, but a liaison who facilitates the critical connections between your technology, marketing, and legal teams.

If you need help linking your intellectual property and business strategy, consider a conversation with the experts at Perception Partners. We go beyond mere legal risk considerations, we focus on exploiting innovation opportunities. We can help you discover the full potential and value of your organization’s intellectual property. Contact us today and learn how our decades of experience can help your business grow sales, satisfy customers and increase market share.