Patent analysis is a broad concept. The concept applies to a desired result achieved by an underlying analysis. Results range from achieving an outcome during a process such as patent prosecution, claim construction, infringement, validity, and even patent valuation. The common thread - a patent and some other document(s).
There needs to be a way to connect related documents or other information to improve the analysis process. And that related information typically needs to be discussed with another person.
So what is "layered" patent analysis and what are the benefits of this form of analysis? By layered we mean embedding or connecting new information from one document, found outside of a target patent document, that is to be joined to a discrete portion of the target patent document. The target might be, for example, a patent or file history. Let's just assume that the target is a target patent.
The "new" information could be a comment, a discrete portion of another document, possible just another document, or simply another person's identifier. The linked "new" information expands what is understood about the target patent document. Maybe the new information is a selection from a prior art reference or prosecution history linked to a claim of the target patent. Each helps convey something new about the target patent.
The new information is not original to the target patent, but exists as a layer of information placed upon the target patent. This layered approach is strategically beneficial for three reasons: 1) linking information between two documents creates the opportunity for expanding to more information nodes; 2) sharing linked information expands knowledge about the connection to others, including additional information nodes; and 3) new, relevant information may be surfaced because there is now at least one other pathway to locate additional information.
The first strategic benefit is gained by merely associating the new information to the target patent. By linking information we achieve a collision of ideas between the two documents and create a new connection as part of the knowledge graph. The target patent, by way of this connection to new information, now has access to existing or future connections to other information. The new information provides a pathway or bridge that fosters a new route by way of the newly linked information now associated. The graph can expand in this manner and is at least beneficial to at least the person making the connection between the target and the new information.
The second strategic benefit is gained by communicating the newly associated linked information to others. Once the information between two documents is linked, there is a collision of information. And that collision, if shared with another person, expands understanding. Consider this post discussing how knowledge is like electricity. Information needs to be linked before it can flow, but to actually flow, it needs to be shared with other people.
Both Electricity and Knowledge need to flow before they can be applied. Electricity flows in a current, knowledge flows between people.
Read more: Knoco stories: 10 ways why Knowledge is like Electricity http://www.nickmilton.com/2014/06/10-ways-why-knowledge-is-like.html#ixzz36OdHKykW
Finally, a third benefit may be achieved because of the opportunity to now surface additional information and insights. This is one of the ideas expressed for Microsoft's Oslo project (previous codename).
The goal for Oslo was not just to reimagine search, but to help people get their work done in a quicker, more informed, and even delightful manner. After all, your job isn’t just to “search.” You use search as a tool to get your actual job done. This more ambitious goal drove us to ask how we could remove the information silos that exist across applications, better support information discovery, and enable teams to work together as a network.
Beyond locating additional information, there is the possibility of discovering additional insights. And if this can be done graphically, more can be learned by the people involved. The key is to create the connections, and once the connections are created, the presentation of the information matters, as discussed in this blog post about visual data representation.
“The holy grail of information visualization is for users to gain insights. In general, the notion of insight is broadly defined, including unexpected discoveries, a deepened understanding, a new way of thinking, eureka-like experiences, and other intellectual breakthroughs”.
That's it for now. We previously discussed how the adaptability of information is important when linking information. So the fluidity of the connections made, for the purpose of achieving specific results, should also be considered.