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Title: A top-down appraoch to patent mapping
Authors: Atherton, MA
Keywords: Patent Map;TRIZ;Design Management;Innovation;Can Manufacturing
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: European Patent Office
Citation: European Patent Office (2011) Patent statistics and patent mapping FAQ.
Abstract: Patent mapping [1] is an attempt to present competitive patent information in graphical form for strategic decision-making purposes. Currently, patent mapping is a bottom-up process, starting from the structured data recorded in patents, through data mining, and ending at multidimensional graphs. A problem is that, as databases expand and consequently mining methods become complicated, the resultant increase in dimensions of visualisations make interpretations more difficult. In fact patent mapping need not be a bottom-up process, as we propose a new top-down approach that is based upon the widely accepted Theory of Innovative Problem Solving (TRIZ) [2]. In order to avoid statistical analysis of many patents, this TRIZ-led patent mapping, first, begins with comprehension of patent competition rules using simple gaming models before visualising competitive environments and technical correlations; then key patents are probed for relevant techniques finally reaching an analysis of technical innovation (Figure 1 below). The research addresses: (i) a critical review of current patent mapping; (ii) explanation of how TRIZ can inform a new patent mapping method; and (iii) application of this new method to a case study in aluminium beverage can manufacturing. The conclusion is that a TRIZ-led mapping method reveals synergistic relationships between patents that are not identified by current methods
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